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Black Not Keen About Red Sox Job

Times Staff Writer

Angel pitching coach Bud Black all but removed himself from consideration for the managerial vacancy with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, when he said he expected to decline an interview for the job.

“It’s more than likely I won’t be going back to interview,” he said.

The Red Sox received permission Friday to discuss the job with Black and Dodger coach Glenn Hoffman. The Red Sox interviewed Hoffman on Monday. In a weekend conversation with Boston General Manager Theo Epstein, Black said he expressed ambivalence about the opportunity and did not set an interview date.

Black, 46, said he remains concerned about moving his wife and two teenage daughters so far from their San Diego County home, the same reason he cited last year when he withdrew from consideration for the Cleveland Indians’ managerial vacancy.

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“The timing is not right,” he said. “Maybe someday the timing will be right. Maybe I might go in another direction in baseball.”

The Red Sox have not disclosed any candidates besides Black, Hoffman and Oakland coach Terry Francona, who is scheduled to interview today.

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After a season where so much went so wrong for the Angels, the team could celebrate Tuesday, when catcher Bengie Molina won his second consecutive Gold Glove award.

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“It’s more fun this time,” he said. “People thought it was just a fluke I won last time. I think I proved everybody wrong.”

He threw out 41% of runners trying to steal, one year after leading the major leagues by throwing out 43%. He also rebounded at bat, hitting .281 with 14 home runs and 71 runs batted in, tying career highs in all three categories.

Molina said he wished to share the award with Manager Mike Scioscia, coaches and teammates.

“My recognition is their recognition,” he said.

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Molina’s season ended Sept. 3, when he suffered a broken wrist in a collision at home plate. The injury is healing nicely, he said, and he expects to resume workouts well in advance of spring training.

Next season could be Molina’s last in Anaheim. The Angels have an option for the 2005 season at $3 million, an amount that would have increased to $3.5 million had he started 120 games last season. He started 109 games before the injury and asked that the Angels honor the $500,000 trigger anyway, but General Manager Bill Stoneman declined.

Owner Arte Moreno has said he expects the player payroll to drop after the 2004 season. The Angels could replace Molina with top prospect Jeff Mathis, 21, who finished last season at double-A and is hitting .167 in the Arizona Fall League.

Molina, 29, said he wants to stay with the Angels but realizes he must prove himself again next season.

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“I would love to be an Angel forever,” he said.

Other AL Gold Glove winners were Seattle outfielders Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Cameron, second baseman Bret Boone and first baseman John Olerud, New York pitcher Mike Mussina, Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez, Minnesota outfielder Torii Hunter and Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez. National League Gold Glove winners will be announced today.

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The Angels would like to acquire a top shortstop, but Stoneman said he has not asked Texas General Manager John Hart about Rodriguez, and said Hart has not solicited an offer.

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“A-Rod was not even brought up in any of our conversations,” Stoneman said.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the Angels expressed a willingness to trade third baseman Troy Glaus and pitcher Jarrod Washburn for Rodriguez, a report Stoneman called “a little far-fetched.”

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Although Angel outfielder Garret Anderson is not expected to finish among the leaders in media balloting for the American League MVP award, his peers selected him as one of the three top players in the league.

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Anderson, Rodriguez and Toronto outfielder Vernon Wells are the finalists as the league’s outstanding player in the Players’ Choice awards, a charity program sponsored by their union. The National League finalists are San Francisco outfielder Barry Bonds, St. Louis outfielder Albert Pujols and Atlanta outfielder Gary Sheffield.

The awards feature one player of the year, regardless of league or position. Bonds, Pujols and the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne are the finalists for player of the year. The winners will be announced today.

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Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter played the AL championship series and World Series with a ruptured tendon in his left thumb, General Manager Brian Cashman said after the team’s news conference to announce Don Mattingly’s return as batting coach. Cashman said the team would wait to determine whether the tendon would heal with rest. If it doesn’t, it would require surgery. Cashman also said first baseman Jason Giambi will have surgery on his left knee and that the Yankees are declining David Wells’ $6-million option but have not decided whether they want the 40-year-old left-hander back next season.

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Designated hitter Edgar Martinez, who turns 41 in January, agreed to a $3-million, one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, a deal that allows him to earn an additional $4 million based on plate appearances.... The Atlanta Braves picked up the $5.7-million option on pitcher Russ Ortiz, who led the NL with 21 wins last season. ... The Cincinnati Reds requested waivers on right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

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