O's talk to J. Duquette for front office job

Baseball

October 14, 2005|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

New York Mets Senior Vice President Jim Duquette met with Orioles officials, including team owner Peter G. Angelos, for more than five hours yesterday, to discuss an upper-level management position in the club's front office.

Duquette interviewed with Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Flanagan and team general counsel Russell Smouse before meeting with Angelos later in the afternoon. Duquette said that he is "very interested" in the opportunity.

"I think there is terrific potential there," said Duquette, the Mets general manager until New York brought in Omar Minaya before the end of the 2004 season. "It's hard to say that for [a team] coming off a 90-loss season, but my opinion - and I know the opinion in our organization - is that they have a lot of young talent, especially pitching. They can be good very soon if the right decisions are made."

Duquette was the first interview for Flanagan, who could add as many as three members to the front office after being officially promoted to his position on Tuesday, taking over for Jim Beattie. Declining to be specific about the position Duquette interviewed for, Flanagan and Duquette would say only that it was an upper-level front office position.

"It went extremely well," Flanagan said. "He was very impressive."

Duquette is expected to be a candidate for the Philadelphia and Tampa Bay GM openings, though neither organization has started interviewing. According to industry sources, Duquette is unlikely to accept a position with the Orioles that wasn't at least similar in responsibility to the job that Flanagan performed for the past three seasons, as part of the Orioles two-headed GM tandem.

The Orioles are not expected to make any front office hires until late next week at the earliest. The Orioles asked for permission two weeks ago to speak to Tampa Bay's Tim Wilken, a special assistant to the GM, but Wilken said yesterday that he still "hadn't heard anything" from the club.

According to an industry source, the Orioles are also expected to interview former Tampa Bay assistant GM Scott Proefrock, who was dismissed earlier this month when the Devil Rays' ownership changed hands.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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