Showalter talks about coaching staff; Samuel and MacPhail to meet
Newly named Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke to The Sun today and confirmed that he will be keeping the current Orioles’ coaching staff through the end of the season.
“We are going to leave it as is. If someone chooses to leave on their own, that’s up to them,” said Showalter, who will arrive in Baltimore on Sunday and be formally announced as the club’s 17th full-time manager at a noon news conference Monday.
“We’ll see where we are at the end of the season,” Showalter said. “I think the players have had enough in dealing with this sort of change. We’ll see what happens at the end of the year. We all will have a better grip on the situation by then.”
Showalter said he would like to retain Juan Samuel as his third base coach and he told Samuel that during a telephone conversation Friday afternoon. Samuel has been the club’s interim manager since June 4 and has hinted it might be uncomfortable for him and Showalter if he returned to the coaching box. It seems as if he is leaning toward stepping down.
“I would not be uncomfortable with him,” Showalter said. “I don’t know Juan, but his reputation is very good. He is well-respected in baseball. … I would make it as comfortable as I can for him. I try to surround myself with the best baseball people I can.”
Samuel is expected to mull his decision through the weekend, and likely will meet with Andy MacPhail, the club’s president of baseball operations, at some point after the team returns home from its road trip Sunday night.
Showalter would also like to meet with Samuel face-to-face before he makes his decision. If Samuel chooses to step down, then the Orioles could retain Gary Allenson, who is targeted to return to Triple-A Norfolk to manage the Tides, as third base coach.
Showalter said he has not thought about his 2011 coaching staff yet, even though there is speculation he could tab some of his former coaches to fill any vacant roles. He also said he would be open to bringing in former Orioles linked to the club’s glory days.
“I have a lot of respect for history and tradition -- that’s one of the attractive things about this job – and everywhere but in Arizona (a new franchise) I tried to embrace that,” Showalter said. “I like the idea of trying to embrace that as much as possible, especially if they are willing to work and impart their knowledge.”
Showalter isn’t offering names, but former Orioles Brady Anderson and B.J. Surhoff have been more visible at Camden Yards recently and Mike Bordick is currently a member of the minor-league staff and has helped out with the big leaguers. Former Oriole and Ranger Billy Ripken has also been floated as a potential coaching fit.
Overall, Showalter said he is excited to manage for the first time since he was with Texas in 2006. And he may be the least pumped member of the Showalter clan about the opportunity. He said his wife, 22-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son are especially psyched. His son, Nathan, has already purchased two Orioles’ hats from a Dallas store – one with the bird and the other with the ‘O.’
“These two kids have grown up in baseball and with this past situation (as an ESPN analyst) it’s been great being around them a lot more,” he said. “But I realized how much they had missed not having [Major League Baseball] in their lives and how genuinely excited they are about it. And I am too, obviously.”