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McKeon Interested in Position With Tigers, but He’s Not Pushing for It

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jack McKeon, who was fired nearly four months ago as general manager of the Padres, said Wednesday that he’s intrigued by the vacant Detroit Tigers’ general manager job, and welcomes the opportunity for a job interview with the American League team.

“I’d like to talk to them and see what they have to offer,” McKeon said. “I’m definitely interested, but I’m not going to solicit it. I’m sitting back. They know where to find me.”

The vacancy with the Tigers was created Monday when Bill Lajoie abruptly resigned as general manager after seven years. Joe McDonald, vice president/player procurement and development, is filling in as the interim general manager until the Tigers complete their search.

One of the primary reasons for Lajoie’s dissatisfaction, according to sources, was his salary. Lajoie earned less than $200,000 a year, and according to other club executives, was the third-lowest paid general manager in major league baseball.

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McKeon, on the other hand, still has one year remaining on his contract with the Padres for $400,000.

“I’m not saying that wouldn’t be a factor,” McKeon said, “it just depends on the circumstances. I think I’d like it there. Sparky (Anderson, Tiger manager) and I would have a good time.

“I’d definitely bring back Ernie (Harwell), that’s for sure.”

Harwell, the Hall of Fame Tiger broadcaster, recently was informed that he’d be fired at the end of the 1991 season, drawing the wrath of Tiger fans.

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McKeon’s name also has surfaced publicly in St. Petersburg, Fla., should the city land an expansion team. Yet, McKeon has not talked with anyone from the expansion group, or any other club since being bypassed for the Atlanta Braves’ vacancy.

In other news, it was revealed that left-handed pitcher Dennis Rasmussen received only a $2,500 raise when he re-signed Tuesday night with the Padres. Rasmussen will earn $805,000 for the 1991 season, with no opportunity to increase his salary in performance bonuses or incentives. The only perk he received was a single room on the road, a savings worth about $4,000.


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