O's seek go-ahead for more GM talks Red Sox's Port to get look with Hunsicker, Lajoie


CLEVELAND -- The Orioles began the process yesterday of receiving permission to talk to other candidates as possible replacements for general manager Roland Hemond, who resigned Friday.

Zcd,0 Former Montreal general manager Kevin Malone, 38, is the front-runner. He had a strong interview with the Orioles two weeks ago, and club officials initiated follow-up conversations last week, after Randy Smith accepted a GM job with the Detroit Tigers.

But the Orioles are expected to talk to other candidates before making a final decision, including Boston Red Sox assistant GM Mike Port, Atlanta Braves scout and former Detroit GM Bill Lajoie and New York Mets assistant GM Gerry Hunsicker.

The Boston Globe is reporting today that Port was offered the Yankees' GM job over the weekend by New York owner George Steinbrenner, but he declined. Asked whether he would be interested if offered a job as the Orioles' GM, Port replied, "Probably."

Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson interviewed with the San Diego Padres yesterday; he is one of a handful of candidates to replace Smith.

Davey Johnson is expected to be named Orioles manager either Friday or after the World Series, although one club official vehemently denied a report published elsewhere yesterday that terms of an agreement with Johnson had been completed.

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