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November 2, 2010

Juan Samuel likely to return as Orioles' third base coach

It looks as if Buck Showalter will be filling out his coaching staff with the man he replaced in August.

Juan Samuel, who took over as the club’s interim manager in June after Dave Trembley was fired and stepped down once Showalter was hired, is expected to be named the Orioles’ third base and infielders coach for 2011.

Samuel is waiting for a call from president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to discuss contractual specifics, but he said he has given Showalter his word that he wants to return, so he assumes it will happen.

“It looks like I’m going to be back,” Samuel said via phone from the Dominican Republic. “We’ve had some good conversations, and I want to come back and I’ll be coaching third.”

Samuel and Showalter spoke by phone on Monday, and Samuel acknowledged that it was strange at first thinking that he would rejoin the Orioles in a position he had held since 2007. In fact, Samuel turned down the opportunity to return to third base from the manager’s office in August and instead took an informal role that required him to evaluate the organization’s Dominican Republic operation.

But Samuel, 49, said he thinks it will be easier to join Showalter now that it won’t be directly after his managing stint.

“It kind of surprised me a little bit when I got a phone call that [Buck] was going to call me. I was like, ‘Oh, boy,’ ” Samuel said. “But I think if I start [at third base] in spring training, the transition will be much easier. It was so uncomfortable to stay in that role [in August], but now I am looking forward to starting from scratch in spring training.”

In putting together his coaching staff, Showalter wanted a base coach who could work with infielders and also was hoping to add a Spanish-speaking coach. He accomplished both with Samuel. Although not involved in the organization’s glory days, Samuel is also someone with Orioles ties, given his four previous years as a coach with the club.

Showalter is not commenting on his coaching staff until it is officially announced by the organization, but it looks to be nearly complete.

Hitting coach Jim Presley and bullpen coach Rick Adair have agreed to contracts and will be present at the organizational meetings in Arizona, which begin in earnest Thursday. The club is negotiating with Mark Connor to be pitching coach, and though not official, it seems as if it will happen.

Don Wakamatsu is the leading candidate to be the club’s bench coach, assuming he doesn’t take a managerial job elsewhere. That leaves a first base coach who can also instruct the outfielders. Former major leaguer Wayne Kirby is considered a serious candidate for that job.

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Posted by Dan Connolly at 3:45 PM | | Comments (11)


I've been thinking for a couple of days that this might happen. When it became clear that the role for a Spanish speaking coach was going to be the infield coach, I started looking at past Orioles rosters for Hispanic infielders who were known for the way they played the game. The closest I could find was Alomar, who is not exactly a strong candidate. It occurred to me that they might bring back Samuel. Gee, nice to be right for a change.

I like Juan but he is not a particularly good 3rd base coach.

If he is going to play the role of the "Latino Infield Coach" can they put him at first and out of harms way?

Well, even then he will probably try to send Luke Scott (Catcher with a leg injury speed) home from 1st on a ball to left like he did twice last season...

I can't believe this is true.

Banging my "Squirrel Head" on my desk asking Why,Why,Why??????

Especially with Davey Lopes now available. This is "Unbelieveable".

Andy MacPhail ought to have "Movie Night" out there in Arizona and show "Groundhog Day". That movie would be a great example of the Organizational Model of the Orioles. if this is true.

I hope this is an early April Fools Joke!

LOVE this move by the Orioles. Was kind of surprised when I saw it on here that Samuel was coming back.

Off subject now......Dan what are the chances the Orioles can get Juan Uribe this off-season to put a short? That guy is a spark-plug as Ozzie Guillen called him.

Uribe is a free agent and, therefore, a possibility. But it'd be surprising if he'd leave San Fran.

Weird. Didn't see that one coming. I thought that the last thing Samuel would want to do is come back to be the third base coach again. Could it be that he didn't have any better options? Next thing you know, Randy Moss will return to the Pats and they'll trade him back to the Vikes for a third round pick.

Bravo. You did the right thing Buck !! The organization has done enough loyal Orioles players and coaches dirty (Frank Robinson, Eddie Miurray). Time to change the song.

So, what about John Shelby? Has that T-Bone been cooked?

The was a give me job to make the organization look good. Hate to say this but if he was a white man he never would of been invited back.


I think you are off here Gary. Samuel was incredibly well-respected within the clubhouse. But he never worked with Showalter and the coaching staff is Showalter's call. For what Buck is looking for, there are few, if any, people as qualified as Samuel.

Boooooooooooooo. Samuel got Melvin Mora thrown out at home disturbingly often. And if true, this would give Gary Allenson a very raw deal.

Furthermore, giving Buck his word that he WANTS to return is not exactly concrete. Anybody would want to. You have to be contacted and then give your word that you accept the job. He's jumping the gun, it seems like. I'm leery of Samuel as third base coach.

Needing a Spanish speaking coach is kind of overrated, since Izturis, Lugo and Andino are the only Latins on the team, if I'm not mistaken, and they are veterans who don't need much hand-holding.

i loved allenson. aggressive but not reckless.why wasn't he invited back? i mean i get the latino/infield thing, but isn't 3b coaching ability primary?

I'd have to say I am not overjoyed at hearing this news. A 3rd base coach's in game responsibilities consist of mainly relaying signs from the dugout, and controlling the runners at 3rd base. I suppose Sammy did well at the sign relaying, but IMO, failed miserably at controlling the runners. Does he have a clue as to the speed of our players, or the arm strength and accuracy of rival outfielders? Does he have normal depth perception to determine how deep or shallow a player is when he touches the ball? How many times have I seen him send an average or below average runner when the outfielder is in possession of the ball BEFORE the runner hits 3rd? I just do not see this greatly improving the O's. Allenson should have been retained at his position.

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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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