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Angels' GM Resigns


His job in danger after a dismal season, Bill Bavasi resigned Friday night as general manager of the Anaheim Angels.

The move came four weeks to the day after manager Terry Collins, who had signed a two-year contract extension in June, also resigned.

Bavasi, 41, will become a special assistant to team president Tony Tavares.

"The change we're looking to cause is to try and get a team that's competitive year in and year out," said Tavares, who admitted he was considering whether to fire the GM after the season. "We look at getting there in different ways."

Tavares said he planned to start a search for Bavasi's successor immediately.

"I'll put a list together tomorrow, get on the phone, ask for permission to talk to people," Tavares said, adding he hoped to have a new general manager in place as soon as possible before a new manager is selected. Bench coach Joe Maddon replaced Collins on an interim basis.

The Angels have endured a miserable season, falling out of contention in the AL West in July.

They entered the season with lofty hopes after signing high-priced free agent Mo Vaughn to a $80 million, six-year contract last November and making a couple other offseason moves.

However, with three games remaining, they had a 67-92 record and trailed AL West champion Texas by 28 games. The Rangers visited Anaheim for a season-ending three-game series.

Bavasi said he went to lunch with Tavares on Thursday, intending to resign, and discovered the two had differing philosophies.

"It's not a crime to have different styles of management, and we do," he said. "I'm very relieved. When you get to this point, you know you're at a point where you should take your leave, you feel good. You move on."

"I have had nothing but fun here. It was the best time you could possibly have in this game. This is the best job you could have."

Bavasi, whose father, Buzzie, was general manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers as well as executive vice president-general manager of the Angels from 1977-84, was appointed to the GM job on Jan. 12, 1994.

The younger Bavasi began his career with the Angels in 1980 as a minor league administrator.

"I still respect Bill, I respect his abilities," Tavares said. "Obviously, this is not a happy day."

"We've got more problems than just injuries and a bad year."

Bavasi, the eighth general manager in club history, held his emotions in check during a news conference until bringing up the players.

"The players are special," said Bavasi, who had to compose himself for a few seconds. "We had a few guys who underachieved this year, which isn't a crime. We had guys hurt, get hit with bats, nd fall in dugouts."

Shortstop Gary DiSarcina was accidentally hit with a bat by coach George Hendrick right before the start of spring training and was sidelined until mid-June. Vaughn fell into the first base dugout in the first inning of the season opener trying to catch a popup, severely spraining an ankle.

The Angels fell below .500 for good on April 18, and lost 11 straight games starting July 16 to fall 16 games out of first place. They were 51-82 when Collins resigned.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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