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Ringing in a new skipper?
Rockies targeting Buddy Bell as new manager
Posted: Friday September 24, 1999 07:21 AM
DENVER (AP) -- Named the Colorado Rockies' general manager on Monday, Dan O'Dowd has already made a number of front-office changes and apparently will pursue Buddy Bell as the team's new field manager.
The Rockies have received permission from the Cincinnati Reds to interview Bell, according to the Denver Rocky Mountain News and The Cincinnati Post.
Bell, a former Detroit Tigers manager who worked in the Cleveland farm system when O'Dowd was the Indians' farm director, currently is the farm director for the Reds.
Bell, 48, is believed to be O'Dowd's No. 1 choice to succeed Jim Leyland, who will retire from managing after this season.
The Reds are expected to make an effort to keep Bell, who is considered the heir apparent to Cincinnati manager Jack McKeon. There is no timetable on when McKeon might relinquish those duties, however, and because of the Reds' surprising play this season it is likely McKeon will be offered a contract extension. His current deal expires after this season.
Reds general manager Jim Bowden called Bell an important part of the club's baseball operation and said he would definitely be a candidate for manager if McKeon doesn't return. "My intention, however, is not to stand in his way if this is something Buddy really wants to do," Bowden said.
Cleveland hitting coach Charlie Manuel and Cleveland first-base coach Brian Graham are considered backup candidates for the Rockies' managerial job.
Gary Hughes, the Rockies' vice president of player personnel who lost out to O'Dowd for Colorado's GM job, will become the team's director of international scouting.
Rockies scouting director Pat Daugherty, who has been reassigned as O'Dowd's special assistant, will be replaced by Cleveland cross-checker Bill Schmidt.
O'Dowd also reportedly wants Tampa Bay assistant farm director Mike Hill, one of the top black executives in the game, to run his minor-league operations, but he has yet to receive permission to interview Hill.
Paul Egins will remain in his role as farm director, although Hill would assume some of the minor-league duties.
Tony Siegle, the club's director of baseball administration, will either retain his current responsibilities or oversee the formation of the Rocky Mountain League, a rookie-level minor league to be established in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.
Rockies coaches Clint Hurdle and Rich Donnelly are expected to be interviewed for the manager's position next week.
O'Dowd, who returned to his Cleveland home on Wednesday, will begin meeting with all of the Rockies coaches next Thursday, when the team returns from its final road trip.
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