Kevin Patrick Malone
- Bats Both,Throws Right
- School University of Louisville
Kevin Malone was General Manager of the Montreal Expos from January 27, 1994 until October 2, 1995 and of the Los Angeles Dodgers from September 11, 1998 until April 26, 2001. Both of his stints at the helm of Major League teams were tumultuous.
Born in San Diego, CA, Malone grew up in Louisville, KY and attended the University of Louisville. He was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 1980 amateur draft and played in the minor leagues as a second baseman for one year. He was with the Batavia Trojans (22 games) and Auburn Americans (1 game) in 1980, hitting .254/~.447/.270. The weak-hitting OBP machine scored 16 runs and drove in 2 in 23 games, while fielding .991 at second. While his official biography states that he did not retire as a player until 1984, he did not play in organized baseball after that first season. He did attend seminary during the following years. He then found a job as a scout for the California Angels from 1985 to 1987, covering southern California. He worked for the Montreal Expos from 1987 to 1988, both as a scout and as a minor league hitting instructor with the Jamestown Expos of the New York-Penn League. He was then hired by the Minnesota Twins as their East Coast scouting supervisor from 1988 to 1991. He was given a special assignment for the 1991 World Series, that of scouting the Atlanta Braves whom the Twins would defeat in a closely-contested seven-game Series.
In the Expos' front office
In November 1991, Kevin Malone returned to the Montreal Expos as the team's Director of Scouting. He oversaw the team's 1992 and 1993 amateur drafts, before receiving a major promotion in January 1994 when General Manager Dan Duquette left the Expos to take the same position with the Boston Red Sox. Given his relative youth and inexperience, Malone only received the title of Director of Player Personnel, but he was in fact the team's new General Manager and had full powers regarding the acquisition of players, only having to defer to team Vice-President Bill Stoneman on contract negotiations.
Malone had inherited a very strong young team from Duquette, which had given the Philadelphia Phillies a run for their money in the 1993 pennant race. He only had to tweak at the edges, adding catcher Lenny Webster and infielder Juan Bell to strengthen the team's bench. After 4-9 start, the 1994 Expos took off like a rocket and were leading all of baseball with a 74-40 record when the 1994 strike brought everything crashing down on August 12. The rest of the season was canceled, as was the post-season. The team, which had been drawing extremely well over the last month of play, lost out on huge potential late-season and playoff crowds, while the labor conflict lasted into spring training of 1995. While this was going on, Expos stars Marquis Grissom and Ken Hill announced in December that they were signing free agent contracts with other teams, until interim commissioner Bud Selig stepped in and prohibited teams from signing free agents until the strike was settled.
In the middle of the turmoil, Malone received a promotion to Vice-President and General Manager on January 16, 1995, as a reward for his good work the previous year. His duties remained the same however, including the need to recruit replacement players if the strike was not resolved before the 1995 season started. This he dutifully did, but thankfully, the two sides of the labor dispute reached a settlement in late March and the replacement players never were used in more than spring training games.
The infamous Fire Sale
However, the bad news was just beginning for Malone. As the settlement did not fulfill the demands of poorer owners for extensive revenue-sharing and limitations on player salaries, Expo owner Claude Brochu ordered Malone to slash the team's salary mass immediately. He was literally given four days to get rid of a number of expensive contracts. As a result, all-star outfielder Larry Walker was not offered salary arbitration and signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies without the Expos receiving any compensation whatsoever. On April 5, he sent closer John Wetteland to the New York Yankees for a lot of cash and low class-A prospect, Fernando Seguignol. That same day, all-star pitcher Hill was sent to St. Louis for three marginal players - Bryan Eversgerd, Kirk Bullinger and DaRond Stovall. The next day, it was Grissom's turn to leave, this time for arch-rival Atlanta in return for more flotsam, aging outfielder Roberto Kelly and youngsters Tony Tarasco and Esteban Yan. This became known as the Expos' first fire sale, and Malone walked around training camp for days like a man who had just seen his best buddy executed by firing squad.
The heart of the team was gone, but the Expos still put up a brave effort in the first half of the season, hanging on to second place until mid-June while staying 5 games over .500. Bad news kept on coming however. On May 15, first baseman Cliff Floyd, the team's best rookie in 1994, shattered his left wrist in a freak collision and was essentially lost for the season. Malone quickly acquired Henry Rodriguez from the Los Angeles Dodgers to take his place, but two weeks later, Rodriguez was lost for the year to a hairline fracture of his shin. Within a week, Malone had managed to wrest David Segui from the New York Mets. Young shortstop Wil Cordero, an all-star the previous year, developed terrible defensive problems and had to be moved to the outfield; he took the place of Moises Alou, who missed the team's last 40 games because of injuries to both shoulders. The team lacked the depth to overcome these problems and began to lose ground quickly, falling into last place in the National League East in the season's last week, where they would end up when the season ended on October 1. Kevin Malone handed in his resignation the next day, unwilling to work for a team that was completely unwilling to spend to remain competitive.
|Montreal Expos General Manager
The new Sheriff in town in Los Angeles
After a couple of years spent as Assistant General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles, working under Pat Gillick, Kevin Malone received his second opportunity to be a general manager on September 11, 1998, replacing Tommy Lasorda at the helm of the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the press conference announcing his appointment, he described himself as "the new sheriff in town", words that got his tenure off to a bad start with the local press corps. The Dodgers were in a time of transition, with team ownership having passed from the O'Malley family, under Peter O'Malley to a group headed by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Lasorda, the team's long-time manager before his uninspiring tenure as GM, was still on board as Malone's assistant, a distinctly uncomfortable arrangement.
Malone quickly found out that the new owners modeled themselves on the worst of Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner when it came to interfering in baseball decisions. He was forced to hire high-profile Davey Johnson as manager, to replace the inexperienced but relatively successful Glenn Hoffman. Malone's choice had been to lure Felipe Alou away from the Expos, but he was unsuccessful. He then clashed repeatedly with Johnson over the next two years as both vied for control of the team, and eventually fired him in spring training of 2001. Thanks to his almost unlimited spending budget, he was able to bring in high-priced talent, most notably pitcher Kevin Brown and outfielders Shawn Green and Gary Sheffield, but also offered lavish contracts to under-achievers such as pitcher Carlos Perez and outfielder Devon White. For all the roster instability, the team sputtered, finishing under .500 in 1999, and 11 games behind San Francisco in 2000. He got rid of Johnson the following March, bringing in his own man to manage the team, former Expos bench coach Jim Tracy, but he would seal his own fate a few weeks later. On April 21 in San Diego, he got into a verbal altercation with a Padre fan who was heckling Sheffield behind home plate. That was the latest in a string of incidents which had kept Malone's name in the news for the wrong reasons, and convinced team President Bob Graziano to fire him five days later.
|Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
A devout Christian, Kevin Malone attended seminary at Tennessee Temple University towards the end of his playing career. In fact, he was quoted in "Christian Weekly" at the time he was working for the Orioles as saying that "Baseball is run by Satan". Malone was portrayed in the media as a fundamentalist after that incident, something that added to his image problems in his later employment with the Dodgers. After his firing from that team, his career took a completely different tack as he was hired by The Master's College, a Christian college located in Newhall, CA, as its vice-president for development. He has continued working as a minister in the following years in parallel with other business ventures, and spent a month in refugee camps in northern Uganda early in 2006. Malone currently co-owns an upscale car dealership in Newhall with baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.
1st Round - Expos
- 1994: 21st overall SS Hiram Bocachica - Rexville High School
- 1994: 31st overall P Mike Thurman - Oregon State University
- 1995: 28th overall SS Michael Barrett - Pace Academy High School
Other Notable Selections - Expos
- 1994: 5th round (140th overall) P Javier Vazquez - Colegio Ponceno High School
- 1995: 5th round (143rd overall) C Brian Schneider - Northampton (PA) High School
1st Round - Dodgers
- 1999: 37th overall OF Jason Repko - Hanford High School
- 2000: 17th overall P Ben Diggins - University of Arizona
- 2001: No Pick (lost for signing Andy Ashby)
Other Notable Selections - Dodgers
- April 5, 1995 traded Ken Hill to the St. Louis Cardinals for Kirk Bullinger, DaRond Stovall and Bryan Eversgerd
- April 5, 1995 traded John Wetteland to the New York Yankees for Fernando Seguignol
- April 6, 1995 traded Marquis Grissom to the Atlanta Braves for Tony Tarasco, Esteban Yan and Roberto Kelly
- May 23, 1995 traded Joey Eischen and Roberto Kelly to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jeff Treadway and Henry Rodriguez
- November 11, 1998 traded Bobby Bonilla to the New York Mets for Mel Rojas
- December 1, 1998 traded Roger Cedeno and Charles Johnson to the New York Mets for Todd Hundley and Arnold Gooch
- April 16, 1999 traded Dave Mlicki and Mel Rojas to the Detroit Tigers for Robinson Checo, Aposto Garcia and Rick Roberts
- November 8, 1999 traded Raul Mondesi and Pedro Borbon to the Toronto Blue Jays for Shawn Green and Jorge Nunez
- December 12, 1999 traded Eric Young and Ismael Valdez to the Chicago Cubs for Terry Adams, Chad Ricketts and Brian Stephenson
- June 20, 2000 traded Jose Vizcaino to the New York Yankees for Jim Leyritz
- July 31, 2000 traded Todd Hollandsworth, Kevin Gibbs and Randey Dorame to the Colorado Rockies for Tom Goodwin
- February 24, 2001 traded Devon White to the Milwaukee Brewers for Marquis Grissom and Ruddy Lugo
- November 9, 1998 signed Devon White as a Free Agent from Arizona Diamondbacks
- December 12, 1998 signed Kevin Brown as a free agent from San Diego Padres
- December 17, 1999 signed Orel Hershiser as a free agent from New York Mets
- December 6, 2000 signed Andy Ashby as a free agent from Atlanta Braves