Five alive in O's search

Perlozzo, Dauer, Mazzilli believed to be top choices for managerial vacancy

Murray, Dempsey not ruled out

Club hopes to make pick by today

progress stalled by schedule complications

November 07, 2003|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

The Orioles' managerial search stalled again last night, after another day of schedule complications kept the decision makers from finalizing their selection.

In some ways, it actually seemed as if the process took a step backward.

Disputing recent reports that the team had narrowed its original list of eight candidates to three or four, Orioles vice president Mike Flanagan said five candidates were still being considered: Sam Perlozzo, Rich Dauer, Lee Mazzilli, Eddie Murray and Rick Dempsey.

Flanagan said only three candidates had been notified that they were out of the running: Grady Little, Terry Francona and Tom Foley.

But industry-wide speculation continued to center on Mazzilli, Dauer and Perlozzo - three men who were waiting anxiously by their telephones last night.

"It's a big decision," Flanagan said, when reached after 9 p.m. "We're going to do our due diligence with it."

Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie spent the day in Chicago at a salary arbitration seminar, joining general managers from around the game. He tried catching an early flight back to Baltimore, but Flanagan said they had hardly spoken all day.

Flanagan, who missed a day Monday to see the New York governor sign a bill banning over-the-counter sales of ephedra, still hoped to meet with Beattie late last night. They were going to try to reach a decision with club owner Peter Angelos.

Once that decision gets made, they will contact the candidate to start negotiating a contract.

Beattie, Flanagan and Angelos had all hoped to name a manager by today.

Flanagan said it was still a possibility, but he couldn't be sure.

"The clock is not an issue to us," Flanagan said. "Getting done [today] would certainly be nice, but there's a part of this process we have to get through."

The candidates tried to stay patient.

Mazzilli, 48, remained at his home in Greenwich, Conn. "Coming to a decision like this is not easily done," he said.

Dauer, 51, was home in Hinckley, Ohio. "It's going to get done in the right time, and the right decision will be made," he said. "It's out of my hands."

Perlozzo, 52, drove from his home in Cumberland to Baltimore this week. But that's because he had a speech to give yesterday before the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, helping the DIA with a fund-raising campaign, and he acknowledged he had a lot on his mind.

"It was extremely difficult up to the point of the speech," Perlozzo said. "Once I got going, it was fine. It was a welcome diversion."

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