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Piniella Begins Talks With the Devil Rays

The Inside Track

October 20, 2002|From Associated Press

Lou Piniella met with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for several hours Saturday, beginning discussions about becoming the last-place team's next manager.

The Devil Rays, in a statement, characterized the meeting as "positive and constructive" and said talks would resume after Piniella returns from a trip to Arizona, where he will attend the funeral of a friend this weekend.

The Devil Rays were given permission to talk to Piniella, a native of Tampa, Fla., after they agreed to provide compensation to the Mariners in the event they sign him.

The New York Mets, without a manager after firing Bobby Valentine, are also interested in interviewing Piniella. But Met officials have been unable to agree with the Mariners on compensation.

"We're still at point A," Met spokesman Jay Horwitz said Saturday.

Piniella and his agent, Alan Nero, met Saturday in Tampa with Vince Naimoli, the Devil Rays' managing general partner, and General Manager Chuck LaMar.

The parties will meet again early next week, the Devil Rays said.

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