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.