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November 17, 2010

Russell makes five

I apologize in advance for the latest incremental update on the coaching staff, but I can now write that John Russell is a done deal and he'll be joining manager Buck Showalter's staff.

The Orioles still have to work out some "offsetting provisions" with the Pittsburgh Pirates because they have Russell under contract after firing him as manager last month. But everything else has been settled and he'll be joining the group that includes pitching coach Mark Connor, bullpen coach Rick Adair, hitting coach Jim Presley and first base coach Wayne Kirby.

What hasn't been decided is whether Russell will be Showalter's bench coach or he'll coach third base. That depends on Showalter's final hire. That position will likely be filled by an infield coach. Candidates include former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph, New York Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson and Triple-A Norfolk manager Bobby Dickerson.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 4:05 PM | | Comments (9)
        

Comments

Unbelievable how long this has taken. MacFail seems to be at the centre of every dithering decision.

Brummie Oriole, that is ridiculous.

What need do they have to rush decisions on the coaching staff?

It's mid-November.

And I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but the reason MacPhail seems to be at the center of every decision is because he's the GM.

That's what they do. They hire coaches and players.


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Jeff Z's reply: Not to mention, this whole process is being directed by Showalter. The only thing Andy is doing is working out the contract details.

Jeff,

Thanks for the update. While I understand the frustrations of many O's fans, I'm actually kind of glad Showalter is taking his time to make sure the staff is as he feels it should be.

That's how other managers do it (or should be doing it) and sometimes these things just take longer than usual. Besides, we have to keep in mind that Showalter basically had to clean the pantry out before he could restock it.

Oh come on, B_O. There were 12 managerial changes since last Opening Day, which means at least 72 coaching openings. Some of those coaches were up for managing jobs, others waited to see where their best fit would be. All of them who had jobs at the end of the season were under contract until the end of October. Some candidates were with teams that went deep into the playoffs, so they couldn't be hired until the World Series was over. The Mets still don't have a manager, the Pirates only got one yesterday, and half of the big chairs have only been filled this month.

And you're blaming MacPhail? Really?

If they get to six, does that mean they're bowl eligible?

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Jeff Z's reply: Well done, Chris. What it does mean is this search, which if you recall was supposed to take "days" not weeks - and of course it has been months - will be finally over, much to the delight of you and everybody who covers thiis team.

You say Dickerson, but does that mean Allenson is officially out of the picture? I liked him at 3B. Or was he a catchers guy?


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Jeff Z's reply: He was a catcher so the assumption is that by hiring another guy with a catcher's background, that covers that part of it. Plus, the one remaining area that they don't have covered is an infield coach so the expected hire likely will have experience/expertise in that area.

Jeff,

Any indication why Gary Allenson wasn't given more consideration to returning as the O's 3B coach? Not that being Norfolk's manager isn't a good job but I'd think he'd rather be part of the big club. Thanks.

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Jeff Z's reply: No question Ed that he'd rather be with the big league club. But apparently, Buck thinks there are better fits than him. Hard to get specific because nobody is commenting on the coaching staff until it is completed, but it's pretty obvious that Buck wanted to go in another direction and didn't think Allenson was best fit for his staff.

It is comical at times how people are so worked up about him taking time and getting the staff he wants. The last 3 managers had little to no control on it so everyone wanted Buck to name his own staff. Now he is working on it and people are still complaining its taking too long! Relax folks! It could be worse. We could be the Mets...they have yet to name a manager much less a coaching staff!

What happened to the coach that is fluent in Spanish? Do any of enw coaches fix the bill?

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Doesnt look like they'll have a Spanish speaking coach. Once Juan Samuel declined the job -- and only two spots remained -- Showalter has fixated on the best infield/catching instructors regardless if they are bilingual.


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Jeff Z's reply: Nope

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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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