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Eddie Murray Is Latest Candidate for Dodgers

October 12, 2000|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Eddie Murray, a future Hall of Famer who played parts of four seasons with the Dodgers, is a candidate to succeed former manager Davey Johnson, baseball sources said Wednesday.

The Dodgers are not commenting on their managerial search, but sources said the Baltimore Orioles have given the Dodgers permission to speak with Murray, who has served as Baltimore's first base coach the last three seasons.

Industry policy requires the Dodgers to interview minority candidates. Murray, who played for the Dodgers from 1989-91 and briefly in '97, is black, as are coaches Willie Randolph and Chris Chambliss of the New York Yankees, whom the Dodgers also have received permission to interview.

Rick Down, Glenn Hoffman and Jim Tracy, members of Johnson's coaching staff, are the other known candidates.

President Bob Graziano and General Manager Kevin Malone, who also handled the '98 search, began scheduling interviews this week. The Dodgers hope to complete the process this month.

Murray, an everyday first baseman in his first stint with the Dodgers, was one of the club's top run producers in 1989 and '90.

He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter in '97 after rejoining the club, following his in-season release from the Angels, and he retired when the season ended.

Murray is one of only three players to have at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, the others being Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

Murray, who has not managed in the minors, managed in the Arizona fall league in 1999.

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Maury Wills, the all-time Dodger leader in stolen bases, has been hired as a baserunning and bunting coordinator.

Wills, 68, will work throughout the farm system and assist the Dodger coaching staff.

The former shortstop batted .281 with 586 stolen bases--490 with the Dodgers--in 14 seasons. He led the National League in stolen bases six times and was the league's most valuable player in 1962.

Since retiring in 1972, Wills has served as a baserunning instructor for other organizations and managed the Seattle Mariners in 1980-81.

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Bullpen coach Rick Dempsey is scheduled to interview Tuesday with the Philadelphia Phillies for their managerial position.

Derrick Hall, Dodger senior vice president, said the Phillies recently requested permission to speak with Dempsey.

"We want what's best for Rick," Hall said. "We certainly don't want to hold him back."

Dempsey was a member of Johnson's staff the last two seasons. He began as the third base coach and moved to the bullpen early last season.

Dempsey, who also interviewed for the Baltimore job last season, has expressed interest in succeeding Johnson.

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