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Riggleman, Lett Join Dodgers as Bench and Bullpen Coaches

November 09, 2000|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jim Riggleman, a former major league manager, and Jim Lett have joined the Dodger coaching staff, the club announced Wednesday.

Riggleman will be the bench coach for Manager Jim Tracy, who has no managing experience in the majors, and Lett the bullpen coach.

Riggleman managed the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. The Cubs fired Riggleman after finishing with a National League-worst 67-95 record in 1999, and he coached for the Cleveland Indians last season.

Lett was formerly bullpen coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. Right fielder Shawn Green, who played five-plus seasons for Toronto, strongly recommended Lett.

Riggleman and Lett join third-base coach Glenn Hoffman, first-base coach John Shelby and special-assignment coach Manny Mota, holdovers from Davey Johnson's staff. Bullpen catcher Travis Barbary also has been retained.

The Dodgers are interviewing candidates for batting and pitching coaches.

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The Angels were among many teams that participated in the first phase of two-pronged bidding to acquire outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, considered the best hitter in Japan.

The New York Mets, Seattle Mariners and Blue Jays also entered the complicated process to sign Suzuki, 27, who could become the first position player from Japan to play in the majors. It is not clear whether the Dodgers made a bid before Wednesday's deadline.

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The agent for free-agent pitcher Darren Dreifort met with Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone at the general managers' meetings at Amelia Island, Fla.

Scott Boras and Malone are negotiating a five-year deal for Dreifort, who was 12-9 with a 4.16 earned-run average last season.

Dreifort is believed to be seeking a contract in the $55-million range. Open bidding begins Saturday.

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The Dodgers still hope to speak with Dave Wallace about a front-office position.

For a second time, Met General Manager Steve Phillips denied the Dodgers permission to interview the longtime pitching coach, who recently accepted a position as an advisor to Phillips.

However, Wallace is expected to listen to other teams' offers after his contract expires Dec. 31.

Staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this story.

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