O's get permission to talk to O'Dowd Access to Indians assistant comes with strings attached

September 20, 1998|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

The Orioles have cleared a significant hurdle in their search for a successor to general manager Pat Gillick: The Cleveland Indians granted them permission to interview assistant general manager Dan O'Dowd. But access to O'Dowd, a leading candidate, is conditional, according to sources familiar with the talks.

Indians owner Richard Jacobs and general manager John Hart stipulated that O'Dowd's availability is contingent upon an agreement that no Indians personnel follow O'Dowd to Baltimore for a specified length of time.

Orioles chief operating officer Joe Foss, who sought permission from Jacobs during last week's ownership meeting in Milwaukee, consented to the demand.

Recognized as an innovative business mind who possesses a solid scouting background, O'Dowd, 39, enjoys significant internal support within the Orioles front office and was considered for the same position in 1995 before Gillick trumped the interview O'Dowd process by ending his retirement at the request of then-manager Davey Johnson.

Gillick's three-year, $2.4 million contract expires in November. He will likely announce his retirement during the Orioles' series this week in Toronto.

O'Dowd is no outsider, having worked five years for the Orioles. The latter half of his term was spent as assistant director of player development and scouting under Hank Peters.

Having accelerated a timetable that initially extended into late October, the Orioles have also been granted permission to interview Florida Marlins assistant general manager Frank Wren, Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden and Atlanta Braves assistant general manager Dean Taylor. Foss will begin conducting interviews this week. A second round will involve majority owner Peter Angelos and manager Ray Miller. Gillick will also have input, Foss said.

Pub Date: 9/20/98

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