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October 27, 2010

Throw Barnett into Orioles’ hitting coach mix

Now that Terry Crowley has accepted a newly created position to work with minor leaguers and evaluate the organization’s offensive players as well as targeted amateurs, the Orioles will have a new hitting coach for the first time since 1998.

Here’s someone the Orioles are considering for the job: Mike Barnett.

Barnett, 51, spent the past two seasons as the Houston Astros’ minor-league hitting coordinator. Before that, he had a three-year stint as the hitting coach with the Kansas City Royals and spent the previous four seasons in the same position with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he was credited with helping young hitters such as Vernon Wells and Orlando Hudson mature at the plate.

From 1998-2001, he was the hitting coach for Tucson, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. The big-league manager of the Diamondbacks for most of that time was Buck Showalter, the Orioles’ new manager.

Barnett also worked in the New York Yankees’ baseball operations department in the 1980s while Showalter was a minor-league player and manager in the Yankees’ system.

Barnett’s not the only one with previous ties to Showalter that will be linked to the hitting coach job. The man that Crowley replaced after the 1998 season likely will get some consideration.

Rick Down, currently a special assignment scout for the San Francisco Giants, was the Orioles’ hitting coach from 1996-98 under Davey Johnson and Ray Miller. He was the hitting coach for the New York Yankees under Buck Showalter in the mid-1990s.

Also in the mix is Jim Presley, who worked with Showalter as the hitting coach in Arizona. Presley, however, is considered the leading candidate for the Atlanta Braves’ vacant hitting coach job. Presley was fired this summer as the Florida Marlins’ hitting coach under Fredi Gonzalez, who also was canned at the same time.

Gonzalez is now the new manager in Atlanta, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Gonzalez has interviewed Presley for that job.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 9:21 AM | | Comments (10)


Her is a unique idea instead of hiring one of Buck's friends why not hire a hitting coach who has actually had some success in the Major leagues

Looks like ken Rosenthal has some info on this topic


You're clueless!

What about the people Andy Mac has surrounded himself!!!! I would trust a friend of Buck S, rather then one of Andy Mac's cronies! I.E. (Kranitz).

And if folks don't like "The Squirrel" you can go bite an Apple! I am sick of the Orioles being cellar dwellers, it's nothing short of a disgrace!

Yo, Squirrel, you go bite an apple!

You think you're the only one around here who hates being called a cellar dweller? You think you have the monopoly on it? But to your rodent brain(you are a squirrel, after all, and squirrels are rodents, albeit incredibly cute ones.) nothing that has happened to improve the team, and improve it has, will satisfy you.

If you really expected MacPhail to come in here and in one fell swoop, turn a ten year loser into an immediate winner, then you give squirrels a bad name. Doesn't happen that way.

Whether you like it or not, MacPhail has put this team in a position to move forward and no one, not the least MacPhail, says it's a done deal. We know, I know, MacPhail knows, even squirrels know(or should know) that work needs to be done. And they have the people in position to move forward, both on the field and in the front office.

But it takes time, something I know squirrels don't understand, seeing as they have a life span of three to six years.

But if you want to also improve, from squirrel to marmot and eventually to prairie dog, you might want to sit back realize what is going on here. It's not all bad, you know.

Good point Squirrel.

Andy hired Buck, and look how that's back-fired...

Right on Ken, right on.

Ken you should know better than to argue with a squirrel. It just makes them nuts!

Quizicat, that was hysterical.

Hey Ken,

I am not going to argue with you. I am just happy to see some passion for once on the blog! Also, when "The Squirrel" grows up I want to become a "Lovable" River Otter, not a marmot.

Now onto serious matters.

Dan, why are the Braves interviewing Jim Pressley? What is wrong with their current hitting instructor Terry Pendleton? His credentials are as good as Jim's. If the Braves decide to let Terry go, I would love to have him!

And just for the record, I don't have the monopoly on the cellar dweller situation. Nor, do I want that distinction. I just want all the in-fighting within the Orioles organization to stop! It's ridiculous.

Pendleton was moved from hitting coach to first base coach by new Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Here is a name: Rudy Jaramillo.

Still under contract with Cubs.

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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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