Expos' GM top candidate for Reds' job

Cincinnati Reds: Omar Minaya, the Montreal Expos' general manager, is the top candidate to replace fired Reds GM Jim Bowden, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports in Tuesday's editions.

"We're down to eight candidates," John Allen, the team's chief operating officer, told the Enquirer. "I've gotten permission from all but one team to talk to them. We've started the process on the other. It shouldn't be a problem."

Houston Astros
assistant general manager Tim Purpura is one of the other candidates, KRIV-TV of Houston reported.

Allen told the Enquirer the announcement probably will come "within three to four weeks."

Minaya has helped keep the Expos competitive despite a payroll limited by Major League Baseball's 29 other teams, which own the Montreal franchise.

Detroit Tigers:
Outfielder Bobby Higginson was suspended for two games and fined Tuesday by the commissioner's office for throwing equipment that hit an umpire during a game against Toronto on Sept. 16.

Higginson threw his shin guard after striking out to end the sixth inning in a loss to Toronto. The shin guard struck plate umpire Kevin Hollowell, who ejected Higginson.

Higginson, who served a two-game suspension earlier this month, will sit out games Tuesday and Wednesday against Kansas City.

The Tigers, who have lost an American League-record 118 games
this season, are two losses away from tying the post-1900 major
league record set by the 1962 New York Mets (40-120).

Arizona Diamondbacks: manager Bob Brenly was ejected in the first inning of Tuesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies.

Plate umpire Derryl Cousins tossed Brenly after the manager argued a broken-bat hit by Colorado's Preston Wilson.

Wilson hesitated on the weak chopper and began running to first as catcher Robby Hammock began running out in front of the plate. They ran into each other, sending Wilson veering far out of the base line, which apparently was the gist of Brenly's argument.

Brenly has been ejected five times this season.

Philadelphia Phillies: Third baseman David Bell was activated and in the lineup against Florida after missing 2½ months with a back and hip injury.

The game was the start of a key three-game series, with the Phillies needing to win two of three to tie the Marlins in the NL wild-card race.

"Any time you get David Bell in your lineup, it's adding to your club," Phillies slugger Jim Thome said. "So we're real excited."

When Bell went on the disabled list July 11, he was hitting .198 with four homers and 37 RBI. He signed a four-year, $17 million contract last offseason after helping the Giants reach the World Series.

Texas Rangers: General manager John Hart told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he would not voluntarily step down at the end of the season.

"We have too much work to do," Hart said. "This is just getting fun."

Rangers owner Tom Hicks hired Hart after the 2001 season to a three-year contract with another five-year deal as a consultant after he steps down as general manager, the paper reported.

Grady Fuson was hired at the same time as assistant general manager in charge of scouting and player development. The plan was also for Fuson to take over for Hart at the end of that contract.

The Rangers finished 72-90 in 2002 and are 70-87 this season through Monday night.

That transition won't happen until next year at the earliest, Hicks told the Star-Telegram, and he has no plans to speed up the process.

Seattle Mariners: General manager Pat Gillick tells The News Tribune of Tacoma Washington that if he is going to retire, the announcement will come after the season ends.

"We addressed the Lou Piniella situation after the season. We addressed the Alex Rodriguez situation after the season," he told the paper. "We'll address this in a timely fashion, too -- after the season."

Gillick's contract expires after the season.

After Monday's game, the Mariners were four games behind Oakland in the AL West and two games behind Boston in the wild-card race.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.