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Dodgers get permission to talk to Hart

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers received permission
to interview former Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers general
manager John Hart for their vacant GM job, and also plan to discuss
the position with current club executive Kim Ng.

Hart resigned as general manager of the Rangers on Oct. 4 and
was succeeded by assistant GM Jon Daniels. Hart remains under
contract with Texas as a consultant.

Dodgers spokeswoman Camille Johnston on Thursday confirmed a
report in The Dallas Morning News that the team had asked for and
received permission to speak with Hart. She didn't say when an
interview would take place.

A telephone message left for Hart wasn't immediately returned.

Ng, vice president and assistant general manager for the Dodgers
the past four years, would become Major League Baseball's first
female GM if she's hired to succeed Paul DePodesta.

Before joining the Dodgers, the 36-year-old Ng served as vice
president and assistant general manager for the New York Yankees from
1998-2001.

There was no announcement on when Ng will be interviewed.

Rangers owner Tom Hicks told the Morning News that Dodgers owner
Frank McCourt called him Wednesday and asked for permission to
speak to Hart.

"I told John if he wanted to go back into baseball that I
wouldn't stand in his way, but that he has an important role with
us," Hicks was quoted as saying. "I told Frank he was welcome to
talk to John to see if he has any interest. He said he would call
him and see."

Hart told the Morning News earlier Wednesday he hadn't been
formally contacted by the Dodgers.

"If the right situation came up at the right time, I'd consider
it," Hart said. "But I'm focused on my job here with the Rangers.
I have a great relationship with our owner and am excited about
helping the organization."

With Hart as their GM, the Indians reached the World Series in
1995 and 1997.

Among other possible candidates are former Boston Red Sox GM
Theo Epstein, Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden and Chicago White
Sox special assistant Dennis Gilbert.

The Dodgers' GM job became vacant Saturday when DePodesta was
fired after less than two years on the job. DePodesta signed a
five-year contract in February 2004, shortly after McCourt
purchased the team from News Corp.

Los Angeles also is without a manager. McCourt said at the time
of DePodesta's firing that the search to replace Jim Tracy would be
on hold until a GM is in place.

The Dodgers' 71-91 record this year was their worst since 1992
and second-poorest since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Los
Angeles in 1958.