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October 14, 2011

Randolph talks about leaving Orioles

Orioles third base/infielders coach Willie Randolph acknowledged he was “a little disappointed” when he learned Thursday night in a telephone conversation with Orioles manager Buck Showalter that he would not be back with the club next season, “but I am always going to move forward.”

Randolph, 57, a six-time All-Star second baseman and former New York Mets manager, signed a one-year deal to be Showalter’s bench coach last year. But he was forced into duty as third base coach because of the health and ineffectiveness of John Russell, who assumed bench coach duties midseason.

Randolph, who aspires to manage again and hopes to link up with another club in a coaching or managing capacity, said he was particularly proud of his work with the Orioles’ infielders this season.

“I love teaching and enjoy working with players,” Randolph said. “And it was very, very gratifying and satisfying to be back with J.J. Hardy and seeing him have a tremendous year. I was very proud of him. And to see a young Robert Andino ... I felt he could be an everyday player, and I’m glad he finally realized that.”

Randolph said he felt he also made strong connections with outfielders Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, and will miss interacting with them.

Not renewing Randolph did not come as a surprise to club observers – and, in fact, was expected to be the primary change to Showalter’s coaching staff this offseason. Randolph was one of only two coaches to receive a one-year deal – along with Russell – last year, and his switch from bench coach to third base coach was a demotion for him and promotion for Russell, though the club attempted to spin it otherwise.

Regardless, the longtime New York Yankee said he enjoyed his time in an Orioles uniform.

“Everyone knows I want a chance to manage again, but that doesn’t change what I love to do the most, and that’s to teach winning baseball. In that way, it was enjoyable,” Randolph said. “We didn’t win as many games as we would’ve liked, but I had a chance to work with and help some young talent, and I feel like I did that.”

Showalter now has two openings on his staff: The club never permanently replaced bullpen coach Rick Adair when he moved to pitching coach.

MLB.com first reported that Randolph's leaving was official.

Other notes: Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will be part of a major league team that will play five games against Chinese Taipei in Taiwan in November. … Orioles development director John Stockstill left Friday for Japan to scout several players, including Nippon’s Yu Darvish, who would be one this winter’s most coveted free-agent pitchers if he is made available.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:16 PM | | Comments (24)
        

Comments

It sounds as if Mr Randolph is pretty sincere in his love of the game and his desire to teach. Unfortunately, the Orioles are not in the position of trying to teach winning baseball. Mr Randolph, good luck to you in your future endeavors.

The one coach I liked...it is beyond me why you wouldn't want him around with young players. I wish somebody would explain why he wasn't asked to stay on.

Maybe buck felt threatened i couldn't begin to imagine why he wasn't asked to return.

How much does Randolph hit these days? He should be quiet or just go. If he stays, fine -- no big deal either way. He needs to wake up -- who cares what he does --just like everyone else. He, in his head, is a big deal. He needs to wake up! Nice Guy --but really!

Dan,

This is a big surprise and a big disappointment, as he seemed to be one of the strengths of the coaching staff. What was the problem with Willie? This move makes no sense on the face of it.

No matter the reason for his canning, there's now a vacancy in the coaching ranks, but one that seems totally unnecessary, like Rick Kranitz's dismissal (we now can see what a total fiasco that's developing into as there's a chance that Rick Adair will be replaced, meaning that some of the young Oriole pitchers will be seeing their fourth major league pitching coach since 2010, not to mention whatever minor league coaches they've had in that span--a recipe for chaos!).

What make for perennial contending franchises in continuity: continuity in the front office, continuity on the field, and continuity in the coaching staff. Sadly, that's not what this is beginning to look like--hope I'm wrong, but it's not encouraging.

In any case, my thanks to Willie Randolph for improving the fundamentals and work ethic in his young charges while with the O's, and best wishes that he finds a quality job elsewhere.

He's a #$&^!! Yankee-Met anyway.

Let's get Bordick and Surhoff on the staff while we have the chance.

The guy was asked and answered honestly. Don't see what the big deal is with some "fans" when people are asked questions and they answer them. Randolph was an asset...I wish him luck.

I agree with Bird the Birdfan - let's get some orange and black blood in that dugout. Building some links to our glorious past wouldn't be a bad idea - Surhoff, Bordick, Brady?

My lord. Us in on Darvish? Never heard that before.

I'm disappointed, but I know how it goes... Willie was a nice, strong presence in the dugout, and I'll miss his confidence in the team.

I do agree with Bear, however. Give a former Oriole a chance. Surhoff should definitely be with the club in some capacity, dame with Bordick.

I'd like to see a new pitching coach. I thought the hiring of Randolph was another step in the right direction. Clearly there is too much change in the organization and overall it has not been in a positive direction. I still bleed black and orange but something has to give.

". But he was forced into duty as third base coach because of the health and ineffectiveness of John Russell, .."

Fire Russell.

He's a #$&^!! Yankee-Met anyway.

Let's get Bordick and Surhoff on the staff while we have the chance.

Posted by: Bear the Birdfan | October 14, 2011 9:37 PM
----------
Are you ten years old? Showalter was a Yankee. If Robinson Cano came to Baltimore you wouldn't want him?

Willie Randolph has forgotten more about baseball than you will ever know.

The one they let go, they should of kept-------------Kranitz!

Does anyone else think it is crazy for Stockstill to be in Japan scouting players? Shouldn't he be getting his resume ready and the Orioles moving forward with finding his replacement?

The article should have told us why he was fired.

Randolph goes and Adair stays as pitching coach? THe more things change the more they stay the same. More lunacy coming this off season; I would suspect.I'm not expecting much improvement next year .

Apparently, the only requirement for an Oriole coach is not his ability to instruct or overall knowledge of the game but whether he toiled for the Orioles wearing the orange and black. Are Sherman Obando and Brad Pennington available?

Or are they playing Taiwan in Chinese Taipei? America's government....land of the cowards.

The O's need a bullpen coach? A BULLPEN coach? Really? The pitching coach can't handle that responsibility? What in God's green earth does a bullpen coach really do to earn a paycheck? Answer the phone and call for beer and pizza?

I like Willie Randolph. He was good for us. I don't get it. We are trying to not improve?

I would be STOKED to see Darvish in orange!

I don't understand why they let him go and kept Russell. What were you thinking, Buck???

I was very disappointed Willie was not re-signed. Look at the progress he made with the guys mentioned in the story, and what more could have been accomplished with Willie on board. As for those who you "kids" out there happy to see an ex-Yankee go...I hate the Yankees...but they WIN.

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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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