Kent Wins Fourth Silver Slugger Awards

Second baseman Jeff Kent, the only consistent offensive threat during the Dodgers dismal 2005 season, was rewarded with his fourth Silver Slugger Award as the best hitter at his position. Eight of the nine members of the NL team were first-time winners. Kent was the only member of the NL team to have previously won the award.

Kent banged out 180 hits, scored 100 runs, had 36 doubles, 29 home runs and knocked in 105 to lead the club in each department.

Mike Piazza won five gold gloves with the Dodgers (1993-97) and went on to win five more in succession with the New York Mets.

OF Dusty Baker (1980) won the award in it's initial year, and again in 1981. P Fernando Valenzuela (1981, 1983) is the only other Dodgers multiple winner.

OF Pedro Guerrero (1982), 2B Steve Sax (1986), OF Kirk Gibson and P Tim Leary (1988), 1B Eddie Murray (1990), P Orel Hershiser (1993) and 1B Eric Karros (1995) earned single awards.

Kent was joined in the NL by Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett and first baseman Derrek Lee, Cincinnati shortstop Felipe Lopez, Houston third baseman Morgan Ensberg, Atlanta outfielder Andruw Jones, Florida outfielder Miguel Cabrera, Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Lee and St. Louis pitcher Jason Marquis.

Winners were picked by major league managers and coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own players. Selections for each position were based on a combination of offensive statistics, such as batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, as well as impressions of a player's offensive value.

The awards are given annually by Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the maker of Louisville Slugger bats.

Dodgers to interview Gillick -- As speculated, the Los Angeles Dodgers have received permission to interview Seattle Mariners adviser Pat Gillick to replace fired general manager Paul DePodesta. No interview date has been set for Gillick, who led Toronto to consecutive World Series titles in the 1990s and was a general manager with Baltimore and the Mariners.

"He's expected to be interviewed sometime in the near future," team spokesman Josh Rawitch said.

Owner Frank McCourt also interviewed Gillick for the position in February 2004, but instead chose DePodesta, who he fired Saturday.

Gillick has also interviewed with the Philadelphia Phillies to replace Ed Wade, who was fired Oct. 10 as general manager.

Gillick won five AL East titles and consecutive championships (1992-93) in Toronto, led the Orioles to the ALCS in 1996 and 1997, and helped the Mariners to the ALCS in 2000 and 2001. Seattle tied a major league record with 116 wins in 2001 and the Mariners' 393 victories during Gillick's four seasons were the most in baseball.

McCourt has set no timetable for hiring a GM, but did say the search for a manager to replace Jim Tracy will be on hold until a GM is in place.

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