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October 11, 2000|ROSS NEWHAN

Larry Bowa interviewed in Boston before Jimy Williams was hired as Red Sox manager, in Toronto before Tim Johnson was hired as Blue Jay manager and in Philadelphia before Terry Francona was hired.

"I've been a bridesmaid a lot," said Bowa, the former Angel third base coach under Terry Collins and now the Seattle Mariner third base coach.

The fiery former Philadelphia shortstop and San Diego Padre manager in 1987 and part of '88 will try for the ring again when the postseason ends for the Mariners, interviewing with the Phillies as a possible replacement for Francona.

The industry perception seems to be that people have long liked Bowa's intensity and aggressiveness but worry about his lack of tact and self-control while managing the Padres.

Bowa sat in the Mariner dugout before Game 1 of the American League championship series and said he probably wasn't ready to manage when he got the opportunity in San Diego and has benefited from his coaching experience since then.

He is what he is, however.

"The way I'd put it is that if I was a player I'd like to play for me," he said. "All I ask is that you play hard. Do your work and play hard. If that's too much to ask, maybe I shouldn't manage again."

A resident of the Philadelphia area, Bowa said he likes the challenging aspect of the Phillies' job.

"I know they had a disappointing year, but there's a very good nucleus and it's a team a manager could put his mark on with the way he wants it to play," he said.

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