Ex-skippers will visit Philly next week

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies are wasting no time trying to replace Larry Bowa, setting up interviews with former managers Don Baylor, Charlie Manuel and Grady Little for next week.

Baylor, who managed Colorado and the Chicago Cubs, will be interviewed on Tuesday. Manuel, who led Cleveland to a division title three years ago, will come in Wednesday. Little, fired by Boston after last season's playoff loss to the New York Yankees, gets his turn Thursday.

Bowa was fired Saturday, one day before the Phillies finished a disappointing, injury-plagued season with an 86-76 record.

Baylor, 55, has spent the past two seasons with the New York Mets as a bench coach and hitting coach under Art Howe. He managed the Rockies from 1993-98, guiding the team to a wild-card berth in 1995, when he was named the NL's manager of the year. Baylor also managed the Cubs from 1999-2002 and has compiled a record of 627-689.

Manuel, 60, has been a special assistant to Phillies general manager Ed Wade for the past two seasons, also working as an instructor and scout at the major- and minor-league levels.

Before coming to Philadelphia, Manuel spent 15 years with the Indians, where he was credited with helping current Phillies first baseman Jim Thome develop into one of the game's top sluggers. Manuel was Cleveland's hitting coach from 1988-89 and again from
1994-99 and was manager from 2000 until the middle of the 2002 season. In 2001, Manuel led the Indians to the AL Central title. His record is 224-190.

Little, 54, was hired in January as a special assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry. He managed the Red Sox for two seasons, leading them to the AL Championship Series last year. Little has also coached for San Diego (1996), Boston (1997-99) and Cleveland (2000-01). He is 188-136.

Bowa led the Phillies to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 21 years, but the team failed to reach the playoffs for the 11th straight season after coming in as favorites to win the division.

A popular figure in Philadelphia who helped the Phillies win their only World Series championship as a shortstop on the 1980 team, Bowa wasn't well-liked among his players because of his fiery personality and win-at-all-cost mentality.