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October 15, 2010

Showalter calls some coaches; no resolution yet

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has begun the process of calling his coaches to inform them that he is still deliberating on the makeup of his 2011 staff.

 

As of late this afternoon, at least two of his coaches had heard from Showalter on Friday and were told that no official decision had been made. At least two others had not yet heard from their boss, who took over the Orioles on Aug. 2 and retained the six coaches that had served under interim manager Juan Samuel.

 

Showalter, who is in Dallas recovering from knee surgery, could not be reached for comment. He has said in the past that he was impressed by the stable of coaches he inherited and that the decision to fire any of them would be difficult.

 

On the last weekend of the season, Showalter met with each of his coaches and explained that he planned to have answers about their job security in the upcoming days. He also told the local media that he thought the issue would be resolved in days instead of weeks. Friday is believed to be the first day since the season ended that Showalter has called staff members, though he remains in nearly daily contact with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

 

The unusually high number of manager vacancies throughout baseball has likely stalled Showalter’s decisions. The biggest stumbling block could be the Toronto Blue Jays, who, according to the Toronto Sun, have interviewed 14 candidates on the phone and could talk to at least seven more.

 

Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield, who was on Showalter’s staff with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, has already interviewed with the Jays, the Toronto Sun reported. Don Wakamatsu, the former Seattle Mariners manager who was Showalter’s bench coach with the Texas Rangers, is also expected to be interviewed for the Toronto job, the Toronto Sun reported.

 

Both Butterfield and Wakamatsu are presumed to be high on Showalter’s list of potential Orioles’ coaches, but their availability may not be determined until after the Blue Jays name a manager. Therefore, it’s possible the Orioles’ coaching situation may not be resolved until after the World Series, when typically most managerial hirings are announced.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 5:24 PM | | Comments (3)
        

Comments

My guess is that:
- the two coaches he's spoken with are the two he definitely will ask back
- he invited them back and asked them to say that they don' t know yet what he is going to do
- he wants to hire Mark Connor as pitching coach, but can't until the Rangers are eliminated. If he can't get Connor, he'll keep Kranitz, so Kranitz is dangling in the wind.

Buck's inability to date to commit to the existing coaching staff is testimony to what will eventually occur.

I also think he has reached out to those he'd like to retain.

To the others, if your phone isn't ringing it is Buck on the other line.

This "delay" is a common thread with the Angelos Orioles. His reign is characterized by the inability to "pull the trigger" on any deal - contracts, free agents, managers, and coaches alike.

Hope Showalter's coaching decisions are the next casualty to this malaise.

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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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