Murray expected to get O's audience

He leaves Ariz. league

lack of experience as manager is obstacle

October 24, 1999|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

ATLANTA -- Orioles bench coach Eddie Murray left the Arizona Fall League Friday night and is believed under consideration for the team's managerial vacancy, according to industry sources.

Murray would represent the ninth candidate to interview as the possible successor to Ray Miller, fired Oct. 6 after a 78-84 fourth-place season. Murray also would be the Orioles' only candidate without what club officials have described as "significant" time as a manager.

Murray's managerial experience is limited to the two weeks he has served as skipper of the Scottsdale Scorpions of the developmental Arizona Fall League. He has served as first base coach and bench coach since being hired by the Orioles in November 1997 shortly after the naming of Ray Miller as manager.

While the Orioles have voiced a desire for a candidate with managerial experience, Murray offers the presence many feel essential within a veteran clubhouse that turned a deaf ear to Miller. Right fielder Albert Belle has claimed several teammates "quit" on Miller last season. Murray's credentials as a player are unquestioned. During his Hall of Fame career he compiled 504 home runs, 1,917 RBIs and 3,255 hits. Murray was the 15th player in major-league history to hit 500 home runs and is one of only three players to reach 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.

Murray became an eight-time All-Star during a career spent primarily with the Orioles but also with the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians and Anaheim Angels.

Regardless of Murray's chances to land the manager's chair, many within the Oriole family believe strongly that he deserved an audience with majority owner Peter Angelos.

"With all the people they've brought in, if I were Eddie my nose would be out of joint if I wasn't given the same consideration," said a source close to Murray. "You look at everything he's done for the organization and it would seem automatic that he would at least get a call."

Orioles officials could not be reached for comment last night.

The Orioles have interviewed six candidates in the last several days, beginning with former Chicago Cubs manager Jim Riggleman and Dodgers bullpen coach Rick Dempsey on Thursday; Cincinnati Reds bench coach Ken Griffey, Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach Hal McRae, Boston Red Sox bench coach Grady Little and Orioles first base coach Marv Foley on Friday. An industry source said Murray traveled to New York Friday night.

Former Indians manager Mike Hargrove interviewed last week as well.

Murray, 43, would be the third member of Miller's staff to be interviewed. Foley and third base coach Sam Perlozzo have interviewed twice each -- once with Angelos and later with a management committee including chief operating officer Joe Foss, executive vice president John Angelos, chairman's representative Louis Angelos, assistant general manager Bruce Manno, director of player personnel Syd Thrift, director of scouting Tony DeMacio and director of player development Tom Trebelhorn.

Foss projected Miller's successor could well be decided upon by Oct. 31. Several candidates will be interviewed again this week by Peter Angelos, who ultimately will make the decision.

The Orioles remain interested in interviewing Atlanta Braves hitting coach Don Baylor. However, Baylor has told the Orioles he will not be available until after the World Series.

The Indians have approached Baylor about interviewing for their vacancy during the Series.

"Maybe Sunday, if I can do it," Baylor said yesterday of speaking to the Indians. "I didn't make any promises."

Baylor also is under consideration by the Angels and Chicago Cubs.

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