It's almost October, and you know what that means--the baseball rumor mill will start churning out managerial candidates like the automobile industry turns out next year's models.
Right there at the front of the assembly line is Angel third base coach Larry Bowa, who is already being mentioned as a candidate to become the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' first manager.
"I'd definitely be interested," said Bowa, who is nearing the end of his first season with the Angels. "It would be a great challenge to start from the ground floor, the dirt level."
Tampa Bay General Manager Chuck LaMar is expected to seek permission from the Angels to speak to Bowa after the season, and the Devil Rays will likely interview at least a dozen candidates.
Bowa, who managed the San Diego Padres in 1987 and 1988, knows not to get his hopes up. He interviewed twice for the Boston Red Sox job that went to Jimy Williams last year, and also interviewed for jobs in Philadelphia, Chicago (White Sox) and Florida.
"I've had a whole lot of callbacks," Bowa said. "My name has been thrown out there a lot of times and I liked it at first. But what it does is it gets you all excited, then you have the rug pulled out from under you."
Seattle right fielder Jay Buhner's three-run home run off Allen Watson in the first inning was a triple milestone.
The mammoth blast was Buhner's 40th of the season, making him the 10th player in major league history to hit 40 homers in three consecutive seasons.
It was the Mariners' 258th home run of the season, which broke the Baltimore Orioles' major league record of 257 in 1996.
And it was the 13th time a home run has been hit into the second deck in left field in the 21-year history of the Kingdome. Buhner also accomplished the feat against the Angels on June 27.
Jim Edmonds' first-inning home run was only the ninth by a left-handed batter against Randy Johnson in the Mariner left-hander's career. . . . Right fielder Tim Salmon started at designated hitter because of a sore right Achilles' tendon. . . . Todd Greene, out since Aug. 20 because of a broken bone in his right wrist, underwent surgery Tuesday. The wrist was placed in a soft cast, and his arm will remain in a sling for at least three weeks. Doctors expect Greene to make a full recovery in time for the 1998 season. . . . First baseman Darin Erstad took batting practice for the first time since he was sidelined by a shoulder injury Sept. 15. Collins said Erstad would be used only as a pinch-hitter.
ANGELS' KEN HILL (8-12, 4.67 ERA) vs. MARINERS' JAMIE MOYER (17-4, 3.68 ERA)
The Kingdome, Seattle, 7:30 p.m.
* Update--Angel Manager Terry Collins said Ken Griffey's chase of Roger Maris' home run record would not alter his approach to tonight's game, regardless of whether or not the Angels were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday. "I'm going to play to win," Collins said. "If that means we have to walk Griffey with first base open, I'll do it. It's not because I don't want him to break the record. It's because I want to win." Moyer, a left-hander, does not have Randy Johnson's intimidating presence on the mound, but his outstanding change-up can make life just as miserable for opposing hitters. Hill has been the Angels' best pitcher in the past month.