TORONTO -- Montreal general manager Kevin Malone is close to leaving his job with the Expos, according to two baseball sources, and he likely would be a candidate with the Orioles if current GM Roland Hemond is replaced.
Malone, 37, became Montreal's general manager in January 1994, and that year the Expos had the best record in the majors, before the strike ended the season. He and owner Claude Brochu have talked in recent days and, contacted yesterday, Malone said, "It looks like my goals really don't coincide with [that of the Expos]. What I'm looking for and what Montreal is looking for, in the short-term, is different."
The Expos broke up their team during spring training, Malone trading stars Ken Hill, Marquis Grissom and John Wetteland, after allowing Larry Walker to leave as a free agent. Brochu has stated that the Expos -- who reportedly lost close to $20 million in '94 -- need revenue sharing, something that is nowhere in sight.
Malone, known for his outspokenness, heavily criticized Orioles owner Peter Angelos during spring training for his stance against the use of replacement players, accusing Angelos of grandstanding. However, an Orioles source said Angelos does not hold those comments against Malone, feeling that Malone said those things during an emotional time in the game's history.
Padres general manager Randy Smith, another possible candidate for the Orioles' job, is getting closer to resolving his situation in San Diego. He met with Padres CEO Larry Lucchino on Monday and Tuesday to talk about the club and his future. The Padres hold an option on Smith for 1996, although Smith has said he'd prefer a long-term deal.
MA "Nothing concrete has been decided," he said. "We've got some
more talking to do."
The Orioles asked for permission to interview Smith, but club sources in San Diego say Padres executives told the Orioles to wait until after the season.
Bonilla to play winter ball
Orioles third baseman Bobby Bonilla plans to play winter ball in Puerto Rico, in Caguas. It would be the first time Bonilla played winter ball in eight years, since before he became an All-Star. He'll report on Dec. 4, and probably play for five or six weeks, as a designated hitter.
Right-hander Paul Menhart pitched against the Orioles last night, but left-handed-hitting rookie center fielder Curtis Goodwin was out of the lineup; Jeff Huson batted leadoff.
"I want to see what Huson can do hitting leadoff," manager Phil Regan said. "I want to see if we can increase our on-base percentage at the top of the order."
Regan acknowledged that Goodwin hasn't progressed as much as he wanted in these final weeks. "I haven't seen the improvement I wanted," he said.
Huson also failed to impress last night, going 0-for-5.
Around the horn
Regan and his coaching staff met for more than an hour yesterday afternoon, for player evaluations. Regan said he would take much of the feedback from that meeting into discussions with Hemond, talks that are heretofore unscheduled. "I really don't want to talk about what was said until I get together with Roland," Regan said. . . . Cal Ripken was honored by the Toronto Blue Jays before last night's game, his 2,150th consecutive game. . . . The Orioles will hold a free fireworks show in the Inner Harbor Saturday at 7:30 p.m.