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Alou Leaning Toward Dodgers

Baseball: Sources say manager ready to make move despite Expos' efforts to keep him.


The Dodgers believe that Felipe Alou is about to join the club even though Montreal Expo officials are fighting to retain the respected manager, baseball sources said Friday.

Many high-ranking members of the Expo ownership consortium met with Alou, who has been offered the Dodger job, at his off-season home near Miami on Friday. Sensing that the Dodgers impressed Alou during several meetings in the Dominican Republic this week, the Expos are using a full-court press in an attempt to persuade Alou to remain with the struggling franchise.

Expo officials, also sorting through an unstable ownership situation, authorized General Manager Jim Beattie to match the Dodgers' financial offer. The Expos hope to meet with Alou again this weekend, encouraging him to delay his decision.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers were buoyed by their talks with Alou. Team President Bob Graziano and General Manager Kevin Malone were scheduled to return to Los Angeles late Friday night. The Dodgers are prepared to introduce Alou at a news conference early next week.

"We feel good about getting to talk with Felipe and hearing his feelings," Malone said before leaving the Dominican Republic. "This is a very important time for him, and we just want Felipe to feel comfortable.

"I know we have a lot to offer Felipe, and I think he feels good about what we discussed. I don't know what Felipe is going to do, but I'm optimistic about where we are now."

Malone spent most of his time with Alou, a longtime friend, discussing the organization's future. Unlike the cost-cutting Expos, the Dodgers are bolstered by the significant resources of the Fox Group.

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