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October 25, 2010

Could Kranitz end up in pinstripes?

While the Orioles coaches are waiting to hear whether they are coming back, the coaching carousel continues to turn throughout baseball.

And you have to wonder whether Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz’s ride may stop in the Bronx.

After 22 years in the Chicago Cubs organization, Kranitz was given his big break to be a big-league pitching coach in 2006 by the Florida Marlins new manager (and longtime Cub) Joe Girardi.

Girardi spent just one season with the Marlins before leaving due to a scrap with ownership, but it was a successful year. Girardi won the NL Manager of the Year Award and Kranitz was named by Baseball America as the Major League Coach of the Year for his work with the Marlins’ young hurlers.

Kranitz eventually joined the Orioles as pitching coach in 2008 and Girardi ended up with the New York Yankees that year, leading them to last year’s World Series title.

With news today that the Yankees have fired pitching coach Dave Eiland, and knowing that Kranitz could be out with the Orioles, it only makes sense that there could be a reunion between Girardi and Kranitz with the Yankees.

Girardi currently is without a Yankees’ contract for 2011, but general manager Brian Cashman has gone on record saying that getting Girardi signed is a top priority. When and if that happens, don’t be surprised if Kranitz’s name surfaces as a candidate for the Yankees’ pitching coach opening.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 3:20 PM | | Comments (15)


I can't say I'd be disappointed should he go to the Yankees.

Lightning is not going to strike a second time for Rick in the Bronx.

What do you hear about the idea that Girardi would like to go back and manage the Cubs to their first WS in 100+ years?
I know that the Yankees can bury him in money, but being the manager to bring the WS back to Wriggly would be pretty hard to beat.
I guess then maybe we'd lose Kranny to the Cubs, but better them then the Yankees.

Cubs already announced that Quade will be their manager, so it's a moot point.

I have mixed feelings about 'Kranny.' Obviously the resurgent pitching of the young starters in the last two months can be attributed to him. But the dismal regression in the first four months can be laid at his feet as well. My gut feeling about him, watching him on MASN all season, was that he didn't belong. He always looked uncomfortable and seemed to lack confidence. Of course that may not translate into manner with the pitchers, but it was something I noticed.

Yet like Connolly mentions, he has a good pedigree. So I don't really know what to think of him. Of course if he ends up a Yankee, I'll then know exactly what to think of him...

A coach getting fired from a team that spends $80 million a year on pitching alone. How bad are you or how good do have to be?

That's just what we need a Yankee pitching coach who can give their hitters the low down on all of our up and coming pitchers.

Kranny was great after Buck arrived. I'd hate to regress.

If the Os let Kranitz go, it better be to promote Mike Griffin to pitching coach.

i think it was buck who got the most out of the pitching staff when he took over. why would anyone think kranitz had anything to do with the late season success. buck told the pitchers to be aggressive and pitch to their strengths and not worry about the hitters. the pitching ws lousy before buck arrived. i would be happy if kranny left.. i wouldn't be surprosed to see all the current coahes go though i would like to see shelby stay.

John K -- You wrote: "That's just what we need a Yankee pitching coach who can give their hitters the low down on all of our up and coming pitchers."

Sssh, that's just what we need, alright. Thanks for the Debbie Downer moment (LOL), but yeah it could come to that. Let's hope not as it's time things start falling in the Orioles' favor for a change.

You never know how much credit a coach deserves unless you're the actual player (and assuming you are also objective enough to judge), but the stark improvement in the pitching over time seems like it should warrant plenty of merit.

As for the early going woes of the pitching staff, I blame most of that on placing the young pitchers way over their heads in the first place. I'd give the managerial situation a major assist as well.

Remember, it was the veteran Millwood who did well out of the gate despite not getting any wins to show for it. The youngsters were either overmatched or tried to exceed their abilities when things weren't going well. The fact a few "got it" in-season as a work-in-progress is no small feat.

Again, I would give the managerial situation a major assist but as an outsider, I have to give Kranitz credit by default.

May he do with Yankee pitching what he's done to the O's. (By the way, I give all the credit for the last two months to the new manager...)

Buck may have another candidate for pitching coach in mind already along with the other coaching positions, time to reshuffle the deck and hope a joker is not dealt to us.

Go to NY.
That will be a plus for the O's.
He was terrible.
I will help you move.

Before we throw Kranitz under the bus, what do we really know about his relationship with Trembley? Was he given any autonomy over the pitching staff? How much input was he allowed to give regarding when pitchers should be taken out of a game?
The turn around we saw when Showalter arrived may have had everything to do with what Kranitz was then allowed to do.
Buck will make his own decisions as to which coaches to keep based on his experience with the club over the last 2 months of the season.

Get Rid of Kranitz Now!
Start The Bus! Start the Bus!

The picture was taken at one of the Orioles games in 2010. It shows two fans expressing their displeasure nothing new there.
One is standing up and yelling
"Kranitz is a Tomato Can!"

He sure is!

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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