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CLEVELAND (AP) _ Rich Dauer, the Kansas City Royals' third-base coach the past six seasons, is leaving the organization to spend more time with his family.

Dauer, 50, took over as the Royals' third-base coach before the 1997 season after working in the club's minor league organization the four previous years.

``I understand Rich's desire to be closer to his family and support his decision,'' Royals general manager Alain Baird said Sunday. ``I want to wish him well in future endeavors.''

Dauer, who lives in Hinckley, Ohio, played 10 seasons with Baltimore and worked for both the Orioles and Indians after retiring as a player.

The Royals said Dauer's replacement as well as the club's entire coaching staff for 2003 will be announced within a week.