Former Toronto, Baltimore and Seattle general manager Pat Gillick has told The Washington Times he would like to be considered for the vacant Montreal Expos general manager position even though the franchise’s future ownership remains uncertain.
Gillick has been working as a consultant for the Seattle Mariners since he resigned as GM at the end of the 2003 season. But he would like to come back and run another baseball operation.
“I enjoy baseball and I enjoy being a general manager or scouting or whatever I am doing,” Gillick said. “I like the challenge and the competitiveness and the chance to build something. The last couple of places I have only been for a short period of time. I like to work.”
Expos president Tony Tavares has said Major League Baseball will continue to operate the club this winter and will put together the roster for the team that will begin play at RFK Stadium next spring.
Tavares said he believed a new ownership group selected through a bidding process will not take over until perhaps February and maybe as late as May or June. Tavares could not be reached for comment about the Expos’ interest in Gillick as a GM candidate.
The general manager’s position opened when Omar Minaya resigned this week to run the New York Mets’ baseball operation. Minaya’s departure put the Expos in a difficult situation since there are no guarantees anyone who takes the job will remain once the new owners take over. But Gillick said he is still interested in the Expos’ position, even as it exists now.
“I love the game,” he said. “Any way I could help, I probably would. I’ve been around this game for a long time. If somebody asked me to do it and put things together and get things on an even keel for a while, I probably would. I’m still working for Seattle, but I am always interested in a challenge.”
Gillick, 67, helped build Toronto from an expansion team. The Blue Jays won five American League East titles and the 1992 and 1993 World Series during his tenure. He was the Mariners’ GM from 2000 through 2003, a stretch during which Seattle won a major-league high 393 games (including 116 in 2001) and reached the American League Championship Series twice.
Gillick is the third former Oriole to express interest in Washington baseball. Both Cal Ripken and Expos manager Frank Robinson have said they would be interested in being part of a Washington operation. Gillick, a former minor league pitcher in the Orioles organization, is best known to local baseball fans for his three-year stint (1996-98) as Baltimore’s general manager. The Orioles won the wild card in 1996 and the American League East in 1997, advancing to the ALCS both years.
Gillick pitched five seasons in the Orioles organization before leaving in 1963 to take a job as assistant farm director with Houston. He spent 10 years with the Astros, eventually becoming director of scouting before joining the New York Yankees in 1974 as coordinator of player development and scouting. He joined the Blue Jays in August 1976 as vice president of player personnel for the expansion franchise.