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AROUND THE MAJORS

Mets Land Howe; Piniella to Tampa

October 24, 2002|From Newsday; From Associated Press

Foiled in their pursuit of Lou Piniella, the New York Mets quickly switched course and have landed Oakland Athletic Manager Art Howe to be their next manager.

Howe and his agent, Alan Nero, met with the Mets in New York Wednesday and agreed in principle on a four-year, $9.4-million deal, Newsday learned.

No official announcement will be made until after the World Series, as ordered by Commissioner Bud Selig, but Howe and the Mets put a surprise ending on a story full of twists and turns.

Newsday also learned that Piniella has agreed to a four-year, $13-million deal with his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Ken Macha, Howe's bench coach in Oakland, has agreed to a multiyear deal to replace Howe for close to $1 million annually.

Howe was made available twice by the A's, and the second time, the Mets took advantage, luring the man who led the A's to three straight playoff appearances but three first-round exits. Howe brings 12 years of managerial experience and the reputation as a players' manager with few confining rules. The low-key Howe also is seen as a person at the opposite end of the spectrum from fired manager Bobby Valentine, whom he will replace.

Although Howe's bosses in Oakland viewed him as "too passive," according to executives around the leagues, Met people saw him as a safe hire after failing to land Piniella, who had only one option after his former team, the Seattle Mariners, struck a deal with only one team, the Devil Rays, for his services.

It was only last week that Oakland pulled Howe back from consideration, knowing the Mets had locked their sights on Piniella.

But with the Mets balking at Seattle's request of Roberto Alomar and top shortstop prospect Jose Reyes for Piniella and high-priced second baseman Bret Boone, Seattle made its deal with Tampa Bay, reportedly for All-Star outfielder Randy Winn.

From Newsday

*

Darryl Kile, the St. Louis Cardinal pitcher who died of heart disease in his Chicago hotel room June 22, will be on the 2003 Hall of Fame ballot.

Kile, who was 33, will become only the third player to appear on the ballot before the customary five-year waiting period. Roberto Clemente and Thurman Munson were the others.

From Associated Press

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