Originally created 11/04/99

Baseball roundup: Hargrove, Lopes hired

On the day Mike Hargrove and Davey Lopes found new jobs in the dugout, all of baseball was buzzing Wednesday about another deal. As in, where will Ken Griffey Jr. wind up?

"We're interested. We're going to do everything we can to see if we can't be a player in this," Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden said. "This very unique opportunity comes around once in a lifetime."

The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati, where his father played for the Big Red Machine, appeared to be the early front-runners to land Griffey. The All-Star center fielder asked Tuesday that Seattle trade him in the offseason.

"So many things could jell or not on this trade," Griffey told The Seattle Times. "They might not find a trade they like. They told me, `You may not find one you like.' But if there is no trade, I'll be going to spring training with Seattle at my normal time."

The Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers, meanwhile, filled their managerial vacancies.

Hargrove, who cried three weeks ago when he was fired by Cleveland, was hired by the Orioles.

Hargrove led the Indians to five straight AL Central titles, but never won a World Series. He was dismissed after Cleveland blew a 2-0 lead in its best-of-5 division playoff against Boston.

"I wanted the challenge. I think there are good things in store for the Orioles sooner than later, and that's a nice feeling," Hargrove said.

Hargrove was reunited with Albert Belle, the former Indians slugger who joined the Orioles last winter.

The Brewers will announce the hiring of Davey Lopes as their manager on Thursday, a team source speaking on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press.

Lopes, the San Diego Padres' first-base coach, will become a major league manager for the first time. The Brewers were 74-87 last season and have had seven straight losing years.

San Diego general manager Kevin Towers couldn't confirm the hiring, but spoke in glowing terms of Lopes' abilities.

"I imagine he's going to set some pretty lofty goals and expectations for that ballclub," Towers said. "He likes to win, and they'll be an aggressive ballclub. He's the type of guy that players will always play very hard for."

Also Wednesday, pitcher David Cone became the first member of the New York Yankees to file for free agency since the team won it second straight World Series last week.

Cone, 36, was 12-9 with a 3.44 ERA. He pitched a perfect game against Montreal in July, then slumped in the second half before going 2-0 in the postseason.

Cone's agent, Steve Fehr, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman already have spoken.

"It was our first substantive conversation," Fehr said. "We talked a while."

Among other players filing for free agency were outfielders Gerald Williams of Atlanta and Brian McRae of Toronto and pitchers Donovan Osborne of St. Louis and Jim Corsi of Baltimore.

In other news, Hall of Famer Billy Williams will remain as a Chicago Cubs coach under new manager Don Baylor.

Williams, 61, who was interviewed for the team's managerial opening, will handle first base and outfield defense. He was the dugout coach last year under Jim Riggleman, who was fired last month.

Tampa Bay has promoted Frank Howard from bench coach to senior adviser for baseball operations. Howard, 63, joined the Devil Rays in November 1997, prior to their expansion season.


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