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Harazin gives up GM post with Mets

The New York Mets, accustomed to losing this season, lost a general manager Tuesday.

Al Harazin resigned as general manager after 1{ disappointing seasons of running the club. Former GM Frank Cashen took over the team's daily operations on an interim basis.

The owners wanted Harazin to stay on in a business capacity, but he declined, thinking the relationship would be difficult for the next general manager, probably Joe McIlvaine. The Mets still plan to hire a business chief, too.

"Fred Wilpon and I tried to convince him not to do this," co-owner Nelson Doubleday said at a news conference. "We wanted him to stay on and run the business end. Not one person could handle everything. We felt what was going on the field was a reflection of one man having too much to do."

Cashen has no intention of staying in the job very long, and it appears McIlvaine will return to New York to run the team. McIlvaine, who recently left as San Diego's GM, was in the Mets' front office before going to the Padres.

"We are discussing the possibility with Joe," Wilpon said. "If Joe said he wanted to run the baseball end, we would be pleased."

Harazin leaves the Mets with a legacy of losing. New York entered Tuesday's game against Montreal with a record of 21-47, last in the National League East. Even the expansion Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies have better records.

Last season, the Mets finished in fifth place with a 72-90 record. Most picked the team to at least contend for first place the past two seasons.

Harazin fired manager Jeff Torborg and brought in Dallas Green last month to "turn things around."

But Green lost 22 of his first 30 games, and it became clear it wasn't just the manager's fault. Green is not a candidate to take over as general manager, a job he held with the Chicago Cubs.

Harazin replaced Cashen as general manager Sept.

27, 1991. Some questioned the move at the time because Harazin, a lawyer, had dealt with the business end of baseball and had little experience with player moves.

Desperate to shake things up after a disappointing 1991 season, Harazin signed Bobby Bonilla to a five-year deal for $29-million and traded three players, including Gregg Jefferies, to Kansas City for Bret Saberhagen. He ended up with one baseball's highest payrolls.

Saberhagen, plagued by injuries, is only 6-11 with the Mets.