Bowden won't seek Dodgers' GM job

Bowden won't seek Dodgers' GM job

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Nationals vice president and general manager Jim Bowden took his name out of contention on Monday for the open GM job in Los Angeles.

In town for this week's meeting of general managers, Bowden said his mind is only on the task ahead of him at the moment: building the Nationals for the 2006 season.

"I'm a member of the Nationals and that's it," Bowden said, while walking with colleague Billy Beane of the Oakland A's to the morning meeting of an all-day session discussing arbitration-eligible players.

Asked specifically if he was going to interview with the Dodgers, who are seeking a replacement for the deposed Paul DePodesta, Bowden said: "No."

The Dodgers declined to discuss their ongoing GM search, although it's not believed that the team sought permission from either the Nationals or MLB to speak to Bowden, who received a six-month contract on Oct. 27 to remain in his current position.

The Red Sox announced late Monday that Bowden and Jim Beattie would interview for their vacant GM position at a yet to be decided location sometime later this week.

Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt have had several conversations with former Texas and Cleveland GM John Hart and reportedly may meet with former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein later this week. The McCourts have also talked to Kim Ng, the assistant GM under both DePodesta and Dan Evans.

Ng declined on Monday to discuss her weekend interview or the ongoing process, referring all queries about the subject to the Dodgers, who also have been without a manager since Jim Tracy left at the end of the regular season. Tracy subsequently signed a three-year deal to manage the Pirates.

The search for a manager was stalled when DePodesta was dismissed 10 days ago.

"It's been Frank and Jamie's plan to put a general manager in place and then deal with a manager later," she said, after taking a break in the meetings.

Ng said, though, that she didn't feel inhibited about conducting Dodger business this week at the same time the GM search was ongoing.

"When Paul was here he obviously had authorization to do things, but he would run everything by Frank," Ng said. "That's the same thing for us."

Bowden's contract would have expired Oct. 31, but because of the elongated process to determine new owners for the Nationals, that pact was extended until the end of April.

MLB, which has owned and operated the franchise since Feb. 15, 2002, has been sifting through applications from eight potential ownership groups since the beginning of the season. But because a lease hasn't been signed between MLB and the Washington D.C. City Council for the team to play at a new $500 million ballpark beginning in 2008 at the earliest, that process has stalled and may not be concluded by next week's meetings of the 30 owners in Milwaukee.

Bowden joined the team on Nov. 2, 2004, replacing Omar Minaya, the move coming just a little more than a month after it was announced that the franchise would move from Montreal to Washington. Minaya, who spent three years as GM of the Expos, is now in the same position with the Mets.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for Bill Ladson contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.