LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have hired bench coach Jim Tracy as their new manager, a high-ranking team official said early Wednesday.
The team planned to introduce him at a news conference Wednesday, according to the official, who asked not to be identified. He told the Associated Press that a decision was reached late Tuesday night to hire the 44-year-old Tracy as the club's manager.
The official confirmed a report in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times that said Tracy was chosen over batting coach Rick Down, also a finalist for the manager's job.
Tracy succeeds Davey Johnson, who was fired Oct. 6 after two years on the job.
The team interviewed 10 candidates, including Tracy, Down and New York Yankees coaches Willie Randolph and Chris Chambliss.
The Dodgers officially had no comment on the club's plans.
"I know about it, but there's not a whole lot I can say about it at this point," Down told the Times when reached at his offseason home in Las Vegas.
"As far as how it (the decision) was reached, I really can't say. All I know is that they wanted someone else. I'm very disappointed."
Down, who the Times said was the preferred choice of some players, told the newspaper that he plans to seek a job elsewhere.
Tracy's wife, Debra, told the Times that her husband was not at their Sarasota, Fla., home and she was not sure when he would return.
Tracy served as an interim manager for four games in July, when Johnson was hospitalized briefly for an irregular heart rhythm.
Tracy has been a bench coach for six seasons, serving under the Montreal Expos with manager Felipe Alou for four years.
He compiled a 501-486 record as a minor league manager with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and the Expos.
As a player, Tracy was picked in the fourth round of the June 1977 draft and played parts of the 1980 and 1981 seasons with the Cubs. He also played for two years in Japan.
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