ATLANTA -- Dean Taylor, who's served as Braves assistant general manager for almost nine years, was named the Brewers general manager Tuesday.
Braves GM John Schuerholz, who characterized Taylor as "my right arm, right leg, right side of the brain, right side of the body," said it will be difficult to replace him.
"I don't know if you can ever replace a guy of that caliber," he said. "It creates a big void. I think the Brewers hired the best man available today."
Taylor, 48, has been in baseball for 24 years, 19 with Schuerholz. The pair were teamed in Kansas City, then Taylor followed Schuerholz to Atlanta in 1990 and helped build the Braves into a perennial power.
He assisted Schuerholz in all aspects of the club's operations and worked closely with the scouting and player development departments.
Indicating he had no timetable, Schuerholz said he would evaluate candidates within the organization and outside before hiring a new assistant.
Taylor succeeds Sal Bando, who was reassigned last month following the firing of manager Phil Garner.
Reshaping the Brewers into a winning team is something that drew Taylor to the job.
"It's going to take a year to get this organization moving to wherever we want it to be," said Taylor, who signed a four-year contract.
Taylor's first duties include hiring a manager, which he hopes to do during the playoffs. He said major league experience isn't the only factor in his choice.
"We're looking for someone who has the ability to motivate and create a winning atmosphere," Taylor said.
The selection of Taylor, who is white, followed a directive by baseball commissioner and former Brewers owner Bud Selig to baseball owners to consider minorities for high-ranking team positions. He required teams to submit a list of candidates for such jobs to his office.
Former NL Manager of the Year Don Baylor, now the hitting coach for the Braves after being fired by the Rockies last season, is among the names mentioned as a candidate for the Brewers' managerial position.
Baylor, who is black, was the hitting coach in Milwaukee from 1990-91 and was considered for the managerial job with the Brewers when Garner was hired.
Taylor said the stability of the Brewers' ownership and the targeted opening of the Brewers' new stadium in 2001 were among the reasons he was interested in the job.
Currently staggering toward their seventh straight losing record, the Brewers are in fifth place in the NL Central and have not been in the playoffs since 1982. Taylor comes from a team that has won seven straight division titles.
"Dean Taylor is someone who will leave no stone unturned in strengthening this organization," said team president Wendy Selig-Prieb, the commissioner's daughter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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