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October 14, 2009

Orioles: Picking a bench coach

I'm pretty impressed. We really haven't even started a real debate about who should be the next Orioles bench coach and I've already seen some outstanding possibilities discussed here. The one that really jumps out at me is former Orioles catcher Bob Melvin, though I don't know that he would have any interest in coming back unless he doesn't get any better offers.

The trouble with Melvin, if the choice is being made by Dave Trembley, is that he would probably be viewed by many as a manager in waiting, since he has quite a bit of experience in that capacity. Obviously, he would be highly valuable both as a strategist and a guy who could help in the continuing education of catcher Matt Wieters.

I doubt Rick Dempsey is a possibility. He wants to manage, but I think he probably would rather be a broadcaster than an everyday coach. I certainly would consider B.J. Surhoff or Chris Hoiles terrific candidates, but don't know if either one is ready to get back in the game on an everyday basis right now.

So, let the conversation continue.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 2:33 PM | | Comments (51)
Categories: Just baseball



The fire Trembley doesn't light in the players asses BJ sure as hell would. He's a link to the last playoff team for the Orioles. He'd be a good mentor to Wietersa being he was a 1st round pick and catcher. He'd also be able to mentor guys like Reimold who I think reminds my of BJ in his style of play.

Surhoff was my choice as manager. and he'd get exp doing some of the work as the bench coach.

I heard the Orioles were going to have the bench coach sponsored by Esskay and different fan will win each night. However, you need to be under 12.

What about Buck Martinez? He is a former catcher and a former manager, and he knows the team.

I predict they will promote from within, elevating one of their minor league managers to be the bench coach - most likely candidates being Gary Allenson from Norfolk or Brad Komminsk from Bowie.

Pete, do you know is actually doing the picking? Does MacPhail have the final say? If so, I think the list of candidates would be quite different than Trembley would have come up with on his own. I can't see Trembley picking a guy who would be considered a prime candidate for a major league job. That would be like a sheep hiring a wolf to be his lamb coach. Probably not a good idea.

I will never understand why Dempsey never was offered the managing job. It seems like it would have been a great fit.

I would like to see the Orioles promote Brad Komisk or Gary Allenson.

Surhoff has young children. I am sure Hoiles is going to be busy with his new ventures. I like Billy Ripken, but he has a lot to keep him busy.

If all of them were available and wanted the job and DT wanted them, this would be my order:
2. Dempsey
3. Billy Ripken
4. Buck Martinez
5. BJ Surhoff
6. Allenson
7. Komisk

The argument for not using Brad or Gary is they are so valuable to the young players at Triple A and Double A, but they are good.

Hey Pete: whatever happened to Eric Daivis, always thought he would make a good coach.

Earl Weaver's not all that old, really.

Earl Weaver's not all that old, really.

Earl Weaver's not all that old, really.

I think Buck Martinez would be an excellent choice. He's a former catcher and a former manager, much of what people are asking for in a bench coach. Also, he has been out of managing (except for, I think the Olympics a while back) and has been doing broadcasting for a while, so he obviously doesn't crave being a manager like Bob Melvin or some others would. I'm not sure if he would be interested but it sure seems like he would be a good fit based on his insight during the broadcasts. It all comes down to what DT wants, I suppose, and that is the wild card here.

Pete, have you ever talked to Buck about going back to coaching, and if not, can you? I'd be really interested in hearing where he stands.

BTW - For everyone clamering for B.J. (I don't disagree, it isn't going to happen. He won't have the time.

Tons of comments about Rick Dempsey. Why?

Whenever I hear him broadcast or do post game shows, he seems to have no idea what he's talking about.

I am a little mystified at the fact that Juan Samuel and John Shelby remain as Orioles coaches. Are they much much better as coaches than they were as completely undisciplined players who still played like rookies when they had been in the league for ten years?

As for Jauss's replacement, I hope that the Orioles find someone who has a little SOB in him. I don't see that with either Buck Martinez or Rick Dempsey.

For Mr. Schmuck, I have a question: is there a link which can provide me information on the Most Valuable Oriole voting from past seasons?

Seventies -

Some guys with a blog called "Urban Shocker" has posts about all of the most valuable Orioles, but he doesn't have a list or an archive or anything.

If you search, "most valuable oriole (+ year)" you should be able to find them all one by one.

PS: Just kidding. He only has up to the early 60's.

I'm all for Dempsey if it means not hearing him on the MASN broadcasts.

Tom - just don't start watching until the game begins then. Also, turn the TV off as soon as the game finishes. (Most fans don't have this problem)

p.s. If Dempsey goes, then they'll just bring back Flanny's nasily drone. (sounded like a blown subwoofer when he did the color commentary)

Lets face ti, they are going to stink for the foreseeable future. Why not hire a goofy quotable guy to entertain the players, fans and make your job easier Pete.
My Top 5 Picks:
1. Trade for Milton Bradley make him Player Coach
2. David Wells who can also can act as conditioning trainer, bar fighter technician, Harley consultant
3. Rickey Henderson-Maybe he will keep his check as a souvenir and save the team money
4. Billy Buckner-Everyone feels better saying not as bad as that guy has it
5. A hologram of Leo Durocher

I know he's not a Catcher but any chance in luring Harold Baines from the Sox. He loves how they've been trating him and everything in an interview but didn't seem totally shut off to coming to Baltimore, although he could have just been trying to make Orioles fans happy.

Personally I think if the Bench Coach is seen as a manager-in-waiting, I don't think that's a bad thing. So far we've seen MacPhail prefer to create competition at every slot. Maybe that applies to coaches too?

Baines was a fantastic player..but I don't think he'd be a great Bench Coach. Hitting instructor? Maybe. But, in a position that requires regular communication skills, which could lead to a manger role, is not quite what Baines was made for. Again the man was a great hitter. Bar none. Though he might have been the quietest man to ever wear a uniform.

Could you imagine Baines giving regular post game interviews?

Dempsey is not respected internally as he has always worked to undermine the managers so he could push for the job. Amazing the Orioles haven't given it to him ;)

I agree with you, Tom Hedrick. If I hear Dempsey say "Earls" instead of "Orioles" one more time I think I'll shoot my TV.

Who wants to get on the Tom Davis bandwagen with me huh??????


I think we should bring in a winner. Someone who can lead and has the respect of having won and been successful. Sorry, I forgot were talking about the O's. maybe Mike Flanagan can be slotted in this job as he seems to have photos of the owner in compromising positions!

Is it really too late to cut some base coaches? Of all the people I still can't get over that's who they decided not to bring back. Keep em all or fire em all, but to pick one doesn't make much sense. Is it because he didn't win all the games DT got kicked out of?


That is an outrageous and absurd statement about Dempsey. He knows the game inside and out. Why do you think such a thing? He knows the game inside and out. I do not think that Dempsey would leave the booth to be a non decision maker on the field as the bench coach. I think his 40 years in pro ball as a player, coach and broadcaster proves that.

Tom Shopay

Just because

Too late James- they are here for 2010. Not all their fault though. We will see.

What about the other Melvin -- Melvin Mora?

I know he said he would like to play a few more years, but it would give him an opportunity to stay with the team in a non-playing capacity if no other teams show any interest.

I believe the choice for bench coach will be B. J. Surhoff.

That would be a good decision.


Pete's reply: Hey Rudy, great to hear from you. Hope all is well with you and yours.

While we're throwing out classic ex-oriole names, allow me to throw the great Jeff Manto into the mix. Well-respected baseball guy, quite a few years of professional coaching experience, and managed a season in the minors. He's a doubtful choice, though, as he's regarded more as a hitting coach than anything else.

Seriously though, my money is on Brad Komminsk like a bunch of other people have noted. Bowie has absolutely glowed under his care and more than a handful of current Orioles had their breakout seasons while on his team. His familiarity and staggering successes with these young guys that we're trying to develop in the majors definitely will have him near the top of the front office's list. Add that to the fact that he's won his league manager of the year award three times, with three different teams. It's really only a matter of time before he's coaching in the major leagues somewhere. I'd personally like to see him start here.

Although I have to wonder if he's done leaping over centerfield walls :)

I feel Hoiles would be the best choice. He needs to be brought back to the Oriole organization in some fashion. There are so many past Orioles living in the area...why are they always ignored when a job opens? I will NEVER understand that! I believe Mike Bordick is now a roving instructor with Toronto?! WTH? We will end up losing BJ and Hoiles to other teams like we did with Bordick and Baines.

b is exactly right about Dempsey. He does talk a lot and say nothing.

Besides, he is best known for impersonating a ball player which he did four months per year as an active player and sometimes during rain delays. It was nice that one of his hot streaks came in October 1983 but most of the time he was hitting balls into Section 8 of the upper deck just prior to strike three.

Furthermore, he managed in the Dodger system for a few years. They were so impressed, they let him go.

How about Barock Obama as honorary bench coach? He can chat with Trembley via closed circuit. Then when Trembley gets fired in May, Obama could be named manager and manager of the year all at the same time.

good one Gil...

Barack Hussien Obama, is going to Coach the O-ri-o's,
Barack Hussien Obama, give's everybody play-ing time...
Barack Hussien Obama hires coaches with questionable prior deal-ings...
Barack Hussien Obama, will force Angelos to spend 2 billion on Players (but 1.5 of it will got to nonsense)
Barack Hussien Obama, will take from the Yanks and give to the O's!

Barack Hussien Obama!

Rush is available now!

unfortunately, the bench coach selection will likely be someone nobody has heard of...

We are not hiring Hoiles, Billy Ripken, Surhoff, or bob Melvin to be a bench coach.

the new BC will likely be someone no one has ever heard of and the hiring will create little excitement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heeeere's Gary Allenson!

If they are planning on just winning 64 games next year, maybe they should just use a toilet seat as a bench coach. :-)

CB -

No disrespect intended. Dempsey might have the makeup to be a great coach/manager.

I just don't see it.

This team needs a disciplinarian with some attitude and some fire in his belly, and Dempsey doesn't seem like that guy (not saying that Dave Trembley does...). Maybe it's all of Dempsey's goofball antics from his playing days.

Yawn, A Bench Coach?

Come on, Pete? Sounds about as exciting as a traffic jam on the 405.

Losers, all of them! I don't see DT picking someone that will threaten his position or encourage a firing! Lets look to an organization with a history of winning. Coaches in the Majors are basically part of a good ole boy system. Friendship made in the minors and other teams developed on their way up the ladder. But with a team with damn near 100 losses the bench coach is the least of the Orioles worries! Who is playing 3rd base, firstbase, DH and who will be our front end pitcher! This organization has a lot of work to do, I hope they don't spend too much time, energy or money on the bench coach!

I'd love to see MacPhail go off the board here and get someone who understands how Sabermetrics can be implemented into game-day decision making. Stuff like which reliever is most likely to get the next few guys out, how does bunting change run expectancy (hint: it hurts it), etc. Trembley seems to do a pretty good job with the people skills and teaching aspects of his job (baserunning might be a whole other story, though), so why not bring in someone who is soley focused on in-game decision making? Shouldn't the bench coach address a weakness in the manager?

What does a bench coach do and why do we need one? Can't the Orioles put that money towards a legitimate major leaguer?

Pete's reply: I doubt that $200,000 is going to get you much on the open market.

Please!!! Not Dempsey, Martinez or anyone that is presently on the O's broadcast team. (Yes, not Palmer either!!!) They have spent too much time being overly critical of Trembley to be objective. (Although Palmer as a pitching coach is not a bad thought.) Get someone who has NOT seen the team throught he eyes of a TV lens.

I find this whole discussion amusing because what coach of any quality is going to walk into this situation and set himself up for failure? If this team doesn't get anything done next year, they're all gone.

And in all honesty, the team may be a little better but McPhail is setting up for 2011 to make the big moves. All the good young guys get a full year under their belt, the pitchers and hitting propects that can't get it done or that we don't need go in a big trade, and the free agent class of '11 is much deeper for what the Orioles need - corner infielders and quality pitchers. So if the team fails McPhail pulls the trigger on the big deals, cleans house with the coaching staff and brings in a proven manager.

Trembley and the coaching staff had better hope they get the pitching staff figured out and two of the Bell/Snyder/Aubrey/Scott group emerge as strong hitters this year or it's over. The only decent pitching help this year in free agency is Valverde and they may be able to get Blalock cheap for a corner. That doesn't bode well for these guys.

McPhail knows exactly what he's doing. It's the final year of tryouts for everyone coming up. The payroll has been cleared and after this season all the propects will have had their chances. The coaching staff will have their make or break season. So don't look for someone of quality to jump into this mess now. It's not happening.

Kevin Millar. There are more qualified candidates no doubt, but no one could keep the dugout any looser than Kevin!

Personally, I think Dempsey is the logical choice for too many reasons to mention here. BJ would be a welcome addition also. Both of these guys know what it takes to win. Either one would be fine with me.

Take it from a Diamondbacks fan, Melvin would be a good choice if the O's still believe in Earl Weaver's three-run home run philosophy. If the team must manufacture runs with an occasional hit-and-run play, steal bases or, heaven forbid, have to squeeze in a run once in a while, BoMel is NOT your guy. Th D-Backs didn't even have signs for those plays with Melvin. Unfortunately, Melvin's 29-year-old replacement doesn't either!

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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