Gillick, Malone to reunite in L.A.? Consultant's job rumored as possibility for O's GM

Orioles Notebook

Bowden waiting on Reds

September 18, 1998|By Peter Schmuck and Joe Strauss | Peter Schmuck and Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Roch Kubatko and Gerard Shields contributed to this article.

Speculation continues to grow that new Los Angles Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone will try to hire Orioles GM Pat Gillick as a special consultant when Gillick's contract runs out Nov. 26.

Malone didn't do anything to squelch the speculation yesterday when a Los Angeles reporter asked him how such a scenario would affect the status of Dodgers vice president Tom Lasorda.

"He's still under contract, so I really can't discuss it," Malone said, "but the way I see it, Pat would work out of the East Coast and Tommy would be here locally. There would not be a problem of them stepping on each other's toes. My relationship with Pat is very special. He does so many things well."

Gillick said that no such arrangement had been discussed, but went on to express his admiration for Malone, who worked under him for the past 2 1/2 years as assistant GM.

"I think from Day One, I always endorsed Kevin for this [Orioles GM] job," Gillick said. "I certainly have confidence in him. I certainly have a feeling for his passion for baseball. I have a lot of respect for Kevin. As far as me taking another position, I haven't discussed anything with Kevin at all.

"Even though it has been rumored otherwise, I really haven't made a decision to leave Baltimore. Whatever transpires, I always try to conduct myself in a professional manner. While I am with the Orioles, I'm going to do everything possible to help this organization."

Bowden up in Reds air

Cincinnati Reds GM Jim Bowden said he is uncertain about his future with the club regardless of whether the Orioles offer him the opportunity to succeed Gillick.

Bowden has spoken with Reds chief executive officer John Allen about an extension of his five-year contract, but due to ownership issues, Bowden says he prefers to put off negotiations.

"I'd like to come back [to the Reds]," Bowden told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "But there are questions in the organization."

Bowden, who is under contract for the '99 season but received permission from the Reds to speak to Orioles vice chairman Joe Foss, referred to majority owner Marge Schott's possible sale of her interest to other investors. Allen's situation also may be determined by the completion of the sale.

"I'm not prepared to sign a new contract when I don't know who I'm going to be working for," said Bowden, who also interviewed for the Dodgers' vacancy before it was awarded to Malone last Friday.

More on the GM search

The Orioles advanced their search during this week's quarterly ownership meeting in Milwaukee, as Foss sought permission to interview at least three more candidates.

The Florida Marlins granted permission to speak with assistant GM Frank Wren and the Atlanta Braves gave the same permission to speak with assistant GM Dean Taylor.

A more complicated situation exists with Cleveland Indians assistant Dan O'Dowd, a leading candidate who interviewed here in 1995 before Gillick's hiring. O'Dowd has four years remaining on his contract plus three option years.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Indians owner Richard Jacobs did not reject the request but will discuss it internally with leading club officials, including GM John Hart.

Foss has begun scheduling interviews for next week, presumably after Gillick formally makes known his intention to leave the club. Gillick is expected to make the announcement after the Orioles are mathematically eliminated from wild-card contention.

Johns to start Sunday

Doug Johns will pitch the last game of the Orioles' homestand Sunday against the New York Yankees, the club announced.

Johns has made nine starts this year, going 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA in 45 2/3 innings. The most recent came Sept. 8 at Oakland, where he allowed six hits, two runs and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. On May 19, he held the Yankees to one run over five innings in New York.

In 19 relief outings before last night, Johns was 1-1 with one save and a 4.29 ERA in 35 2/3 innings.

"It would be an adjustment," Johns said. "As the year's gone on, I've gotten more comfortable with the relief role. It was newer to me, but I've gotten used to coming out of the 'pen."

Juan Guzman is scheduled to pitch tonight's opener of the three-game series on short rest. Rookie Sidney Ponson will start tomorrow if no longer bothered by the blister on his right index finger.

Kamieniecki goes home

Pitcher Scott Kamieniecki returned to his home in Flint, Mich. yesterday morning after surgery Tuesday to remove a herniated cervical disk in his neck.

Trainer Richie Bancells talked to Kamieniecki over the phone and said, "He's doing good. He sounded comfortable, sounded great."

Kamieniecki also had part of the sixth vertebra in his spine removed, and a bone graft was taken from his left pelvic area. The surgery was performed by Dr. Henry Bohlman at University Hospital of Cleveland.

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