Dempsey turns down O's for Dodgers' Single-A job

Former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey has turned down th team's offer to manage the Single-A Frederick Keys, deciding to accept a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers so he can spend the summer closer to his family.

Dempsey said he will manage the Dodgers' Single-A team in Bakersfield, not far from his family home in West Lake Village, Calif.


"If the Orioles had had another job at a higher classification, I would have taken it," Dempsey said in a telephone interview from his home last night.

"Money was never an issue. The Dodgers made me an offer at the same level two hours from my home," said Dempsey, who played for Los Angeles from 1988 to 1990. "I thought it would be better to see my family for a summer."


Dempsey spent last season as an Orioles instructor when he wasn't on the active roster as a catcher. The offer was made to Dempsey after the Orioles added Rochester Red Wings manager Jerry Narron to their coaching staff, creating an opening on the minor-league level.

"It was one of those things where I had to choose between my family and going back East," said Dempsey. "They [Dodgers] knew the Orioles would be my first pick, but I didn't get one of the two [major-league] coaching jobs."

Dempsey did not rule out the possibility of working for the Orioles at some point in the future.

"The door is open," said Dempsey. "If something opens up, the[Orioles] said they would call me."

Twins re-sign Puckett

Kirby Puckett turned down bigger offers from other teams yesterday to stay with the Minnesota Twins, signing a five-year, $30 million contract. It's the second-biggest deal in baseball history in total money and the third-highest by annual average. (Article, 2C). Here's a look at baseball's top contracts in average annual value (x-average salary in millions):

Player,.. .. ..Club .. .. .. ..Years.. .. .. .Sal.-x

Ryne Sandberg, Cubs.. .. .. ...93-96.. .. .. ...$7.1


Cal Ripken,.. Orioles.. .. ...93-97.. .. .. ...$6.5

Kirby Puckett,..Min.. .. .. ...93-97.. .. .. .. $6.0

Bobby Bonilla,..NYM.. .. .. ...92-96.. .. .. .. $5.8

Jack Morris, .. Tor.. .. .. ...92-93.. .. .. .. $5.4

Roger Clemens,..Bos.. .. .. ...92-95.. .. .. ...$5.4

Dwight Gooden,..NYM.. .. .. .. 92-94.. .. .. ...$5.2