Dodgers Wait To Speak To Alou

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is welcomed with a kiss by his wife, Coretta, after leaving court in Montgomery, Ala., March 22, 1956.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were awaiting word Thursday on a request for permission from the Montreal Expos to speak with Felipe Alou about their vacant managerial job.

It's also possible the Dodgers will pursue Jim Leyland, although the Colorado Rockies appear to have the inside track on hiring the former Marlins manager.

In announcing Wednesday Glenn Hoffman won't manage the Dodgers next season, general manager Kevin Malone was asked about Alou, believed to be the leading candidate, and said, "All I can say is we have not been granted permission to talk to Felipe Alou."

Alou, 63, has been the Expos manager since May 22, 1992, and has one year remaining on his contract.

Malone was Montreal's general manager in 1994 and 1995. If Alou wants to take the Los Angeles job, it's believed the Expos won't stand in his way.

Meanwhile, Leyland announced Thursday he will not return as Florida's manager next season, using an escape clause that allows him to take a $500,000 buyout if he quits within two weeks after the season.

Malone said Wednesday he wanted a manager who was a proven winner, and he listed Alou, Leyland, Davey Johnson and Kevin Kennedy as examples.

Leyland and Rockies owner Jerry McMorris are good friends, and the Rockies -- who fired Don Baylor Monday -- have been awaiting permission from the Marlins to interview Leyland.

Johnson is a former manager of the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, while Kennedy managed the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.

Malone said he hoped to have a manager and coaching staff in place by the end of October. One member of the coaching staff will be Hoffman, who managed the Dodgers to a 47-41 record to finish the 1998 season after Bill Russell was fired June 21.

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