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October 13, 2009

O's: Jauss unchained

It wasn't the best-kept secret in the world, but the Orioles made it official today that Dave Jauss would not be returning to the coaching staff. Everybody else will return in their current incarnations, which means that Dave Trembley is searching for a new bench coach.

Don't know who that might be, but I think it would be nice to have somebody on the staff with some major league catching background, since the Orioles have no one on the major league staff to oversee the development of Matt Wieters. If nothing else, I think they need to bring back Chad Moeller in the reserve role.

Don't have any hard info on why Jauss was let go, but if I were to guess, I would think it was a staff chemistry thing.

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 5:58 PM | | Comments (55)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

Well I guess for the continuity of the team this is a good thing? Yet not sure with all of the base running blunders it is? Hope it was chemistry as to why Jauss was let go, not sure how he would have helped to lose so many games.

Maybe they want someone who can step in when Trembley is catapulted and Jauss wasn't it. Why pay two salaries, one for the present and one for the future?

Wow, 11th of 14 in runs (worse than usual), eighth in OBP, yet Teflon Terry Crowley and his aggressive approach at the plate again stays (in a division with two of the most patient, disciplined offenses in baseball.)

And, we'll get to see Juan Samuel give away more outs on bases.

Catching experience?

Two words: Tractor. Mechanic.

Let's get #23 back in an O's uniform....Chris Hoiles can bring some of that '97 Oriole Magic

It may have been that Jauss was just tired of the job and lacked the desire to return.
Perhaps Trembley felt that he wanted someone a bit more enthusiastic.
There doesn't have to be a "problem" or a particular issue at the heart of a change.
I agree that Chad Moeller is the best choice to return as Matt's backup.
However, I see no reason for a new bench coach to have a "catching" background.
Weiters is coming along just fine.
Coincidently though, I do think Buck Martinez would make an excellent bench coach.

Samuel back??

I feel like a t-shirt slogan coming on.

I waited 2 weeks and all I got was this stinking Jauss firing.

Very disappointed Windmill Juan will be back.

New bench coach: Bob Lancione...the man with all the answers.

I see Andy Mac's fingerprints all over this move. I think the next bench coach will be the manager-in-waiting.

http://sportspoof.com/

good decision, I think too on Jauss, what Rick Dempsey?!!

either Hoiles or Dempsey would a great addition

Manager-in-waiting sounds right to me. Bench coaches usually end up being manager material, and, it would allow MacPhail to replace Trembley at the end of 2010 if needed without creating as much a transition period as it might to bring in a completely new guy.

It would be a very shrewd move if you ask me,

Serious question, Pete. Why on earth would you bring back a reserve catcher who caught TWO baserunners all season long?

You expect a back-up catcher to not be able to hit, but I'd at least like a back-up that can throw out more than 2 out of every 27 baserunners.

This is a non-story not worthy of the ink wasted to report it. The problem with the team is not the bench coach nor is there any intrigue in the replacement.

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Pete's reply: I disagree emphatically on that, Gil. Often the bench coach ends up being the next manager.

why was the position of bench coach ever created. it seems like a unnecessary position. it takes up money that could be put to use acquiring players.

Dan Connolly said that Juan is "most respected person in the Orioles clubhouse – players and coaches alike". Is he really that respected??

I understand what he said about a third base coach only being noticed when they mess up, but Samuel made himself a bit too noticeable. The most troubling thing that I saw was that after he made a mistake, when the next close situation arose, no matter who was running, he'd always make the opposite call. If he holds up Pie when he surely could have made it home, sure enough, an inning later he'd send Ty chugging around third to be throw out by 3-4 steps. He was as dogmatic about making up for his mistakes, irrespective of who the actual baserunner was, as Trembley was with the bullpen.

I'm not privy to what goes on in the clubhouse, but I have a real hard time believing that everyone respects this guy as much as he made it seem.

Sandy Alomar Jr.

So,big deal,does this surprise anybody?Jauss is the sacfrificial scapegoat,so Trembley can start the season next year and be fired by midseason while the Orioles suck again,and Crowley and Kranitz and Juan Samuel lose keep thier jobs.McPhail stinks,one good trade and done,as soon as the league wised up to him.Get ready for losing season number 13.

TIME FOR YOUR OFFSEASON PREDICTIONS PETE!!!!

Lorenzo Bundy; lots of experience with Jim Leyland in Detroit and Colorado and was with Arizona this past season.

It amazes me that the 3rd worst team in all of baseball, rewards everyone, but Dave Jauss, as I am really shocked. I think Kranny, did the best job of any of the coaches coming back because he had to deal with a revolving door of pitchers with many of them, not deserving to be here. I've heard Dunn, is excellent in the BP and again, anyone who got innings from two actors like Sean Penn and Christopher Lambert, deserves to keep their job, but the Crow, is a head scratcher. I like him and think he has a knack for developing young hitters, but at the same time, I feel that someone needs to push them further with the little things and discipline. Tampa sets all sorts of records for hitting, but their coach is axed so I can't figure this one out at all.

Christian, good points on Juan, as I don't know how truly respected he is in the clubhouse. The blunders never stopped all year and he is rewarded. This is a young team so our the kids, going to say we hate Juan? If I am a free agent or a GM of another team, I am laughing that a team that had to win their last series to avoid 100 losses, keeps everyone, but the bench coach.

I don't know what Mike Bordick, is up to, but he would be excellent in setting up ST and being a bench coach, as he was a detail orientated player. He was no nonsense and played the game with heart plus on a team with young kids, maybe a younger coach, would help with the overall communication.

I've heard Jauss, is a class act so that's probably why he's out plus he wont participate in Juan and Dave's new charity which takes senior citizens form Baltimore on walks around the city, boat tours and to museums. I personally can't blame Jauss, as he's seen what Juan, can do with young athletes in the prime of their lives in terms of sending them home so Jauss, must be scared that Juan, might not be the best tour guide of the city, as he'll be waving them on the boats without checking the ramps and boom, a new life alert commercial: "help, I've fallen into the inner harbor and I can't swim".

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Pete's reply: Todd, you're usually pretty tuned in, but there's a lot here based on suppositions and assumptions that just aren't there.

I'm with Gil. I've never been able to figure this one. (Except maybe they need real coaches elsewhere nowadays so you can't hide your drinking buddy like Billy Martin did with Art Fowler). These guys are so overworked they can give mid-game interviews but they need someone to tell them who is left in the bullpen and lead jumping jacks in spring training? When I win MegaMillions this week and buy the Nats, this is my first cost saving move.

For leonard and all the people who think a bench coach doesn't do anything, I have reproduced an interview with the St. Louis Cardinal's bench coach, Joe Pettini, that buddy submitted to Roch Kubatko's blog on masnsports.com.
__________________

The Role of the Bench Coach


Interview with Joe Pettini

By Brian Walton

Those of us with a few miles on our frames remember the days before the invention of the bench coach. For others, when one hears the term, the image of Popeye (a.k.a. The Gerbil), Don Zimmer, immediately comes to mind. Think of the respected former manager, in his twilight years, sitting at the manager’s side, ready to whisper sage words of advice into his ear.

Well, the St. Louis Cardinals have one of these new/old-age coaches, too. But, while Joe Pettini’s role is very different from Zimmer’s was with the Yankees, it is no less important. In fact, I assure you that after reading this interview, you will be as surprised as I was about the depth of Pettini’s involvement in preparation of the team each day. It’s a lot more than the guy perched on the top step of the dugout with a stop watch or the rubber-armed batting practice hurler with the whip-like throwing motion.

Joe Pettini is a relative Johnny-come-lately on a coaching staff known for continuity. While he is starting just his third season as Tony La Russa’s bench coach, Pettini has been with the organization for a long time. He managed eight years in the Cardinal minor league system and served as minor league field coordinator from 1997-2001.

I caught up with Joe last weekend in Montreal.

BW: The bench coach is kind of a new position in baseball. What are your responsibilities?

JP: Mainly my responsibility when first getting here is to help set up the day’s routine, as far as the BPs, get the stretch times, set up the groups. Once the game begins, I’ve said that the bench coach’s role changes depending on the manager. When you have somebody who is relatively a newer type of manager here in the big leagues, they might rely on a bench coach more so than someone who has been around as long as Tony. But, you know, he still has a lot of questions during the game as far as pitcher’s time to the plate – our guys, their guys - whether you can take advantage of the running game or keeping the other team from using the running game against us.

The main job I do during the course of the game is help set up the infield positioning. I get together with Dave Duncan prior to every series to go over how we’re exactly going play each hitter in the infield, depending on whether he’s against a right hander or a left hander. What I do is I set it up in order and I go over it with each infielder before the series starts and during the games if they have any questions about where they are or where they should be. You can move them here or there or wherever Duncan wants them to play. Basically, that’s about it except for one thing – that’s taking care of the lineup card. That’s the easy part. (laughs)

BW: When you need to make a defensive adjustment during the game, how is that given to the player?

JP: Well, you know, basically, all these guys are pretty good. They want to be sure to be in the right spot. What I did the first year in all the ballparks, I brought a digital camera and took a picture from the dugout. I had Jose Oquendo go out and I mark on the picture that I keep in the computer in a folder for each team. So, I know exactly from where I am sitting on the bench if the second baseman is playing a right hander straight away because of the mark on the wall of the stadium behind him. So, I’ll know if he is out of position and there’s signs to where these guys know, depending on the pitcher, depending on the count, and how a hitter is going, they might make a slight adjustment themselves, too, which is ok. Just because we tell them to play straightaway, doesn’t mean that if they bring in somebody and they get behind in the count, that they can’t go ahead and maybe shade him a step or two the other way thinking that he is not going to be as aggressive of a hitter.

BW: That’s surprising. So, you actually use geometry for defensive positioning?

JP: Yeah, it makes it look simpler. I took pictures of all the fields from the second base side and through the shortstop side. That way, we don’t have to do it every time we come in and have Jose go out there and have me mark down the spots. We have it on the computer, so that way when we go to a city, I can bring it up, print out the picture and I put it in my folder that I keep on the bench. That way, I know exactly where these guys should be.

BW: So, that also affects where you stand during the game, then?

JP: Yes, I have to take the same position. Otherwise, it’s going to change on you. I make notations on the pictures themselves where the lines are going to go from straightaway up to some point, whether it is on the wall, the stadium steps or scoreboard. And then, I make a notation on the bottom where I’ll be sitting. Usually, you can remember where you sit, but just in case…

BW: A lot of times at home I see you’re pretty much perched with one foot on the top step. Is that your spot?

JP: Right. That’s the spot where I know. At home, you kind of memorize everything. So you know exactly, through the shortstop, through the second baseman, where they should be playing against a right-handed hitter or a left-handed hitter, because they vary. A left-handed hitter playing straightaway is just a couple of steps over from where a right-hander should be. At times, we’ll plan to where we’ll play maybe a step towards the middle or a couple of steps toward the middle when we’ll play a dead pull and sometime as you can tell, against Berkman, such guys that are strong pull hitters, we’ll even have a shift.

BW: How often do you determine whether to change the defense for a hitter?

JP: Dunc keeps a lot of stuff. I keep a lot of things. Every year that I’ve been here, I’ve kept a chart on the computer of every playable ball that was hit by each hitter. I’ll have a diagram for each hitter, whether it was against a right handed or left handed pitcher. And Dunc does the same thing. He just gets all his information. You know, it’s not a science. It’s not black and white. But, it gives you really good tendencies on where you should be playing some people. And, of course, it doesn’t always work out well. But, over the long haul, I think that when you pay attention to the data that you have on certain hitters, in the long run, you’re going to be better off by watching these things, positioning the infielders as opposed to where the guy is hitting the ball.

BW: You have a stopwatch during the game. Are you timing the pitcher’s move to the plate?

JP: Basically, with our guys, when I’m timing our pitchers, it’s just to let Tony know if a guy starts to slow up. Usually, if a pitcher once he leaves the set position can get the ball to the catcher in 1.3 seconds or less, then the catcher has at least some kind of a chance to throw out a base stealer. If he starts getting above 1.3, then starts creeping up to 1.4 or between 1.4 and 1.5, these are mostly right handed pitchers, then the running game becomes a little easier to go ahead and try. So, if Tony wants to know if our pitcher starts to slow up; that way, he can have him throw over or he can let the catcher know to have him quicken up a little bit. Because, basically, when you manage or are coaching, you are trying to keep the other club from taking advantage of you. And the flip side is that if the other club’s pitcher starts to slow up or have some slow times or their breaking pitch is overly slow, and you get a breaking ball count, you can take a chance on sending a guy and maybe stealing a base on a breaking ball.

BW: When you see a pitcher slow down, is that always later in the game, when they are tired?

JP: It happens a lot late in the game when guys get tired, but pitchers are a different breed and basically for these guys at this level to pitch the way they are capable, to pitch the way they want to, to have that command where they are going to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate, to try to hit the corners and come off the plate, they need a lot of rhythm. And if guys have to quicken up because the other club is running, trying to steal bases, it takes them out of their game a little bit. And all of a sudden, your command isn’t there, you get behind a little in the count and then you get some pitches to hit and drive in some runs. Like you said, later is a big thing. When they do get tired, some guys will slow up a lot.

BW: Do you provide input to Duncan at times when he is considering a pitching change?

JP: Well, not really for pitching changes. Tony’s the manager and he’s going to take care of that. He relies a lot on Dunky. He’ll ask Dunc a lot of questions but when it comes down to the final decision, Tony makes it. As far as pitching changes, that is handled by Dave and Tony.

BW: So, you keep track and share the information when you see something or they want it?

JP: Right. What we do is I keep track of, for every club and every pitcher, I keep track of the times over the course of a period with fastballs, with runners at first base, how quick they are when they throw a fastball and how quick they are when they throw an off-speed pitch. I do the same thing when they are at second base. At second base, you don’t have to be as quick, naturally, because it is a shorter throw to third base when you’re trying to steal. But, I keep all that and when we go into a town, and every pitcher that is on that roster, I will make sure that they have all that data on the bench and they’ll know who the starters are and what their times are. And if they bring in a reliever, especially as a lot of left-handed relievers will be awfully slow, even though they are deceptive with runners at first, sometimes they keep that slow time when they are at second, which makes it possible to steal. So, whenever they bring in a reliever, we will have times already there so we can look them up and say, “Well, he’s anywhere between 1.3 and 1.5 or even slower. If you want to run, here is the time to take a chance.

BW: It is surprising to me, even as a person who follows baseball closely, as to the amount of preparation that goes into the game.

JP: What’s so good about the game of baseball is that it’s pitching, it’s fielding, it’s hitting, but any little thing that you can take advantage of, can help win a game. And on the flip side again, any thing you can keep another club from taking advantage of, may possibly keep them from scoring a run or two and keeping you in a game or keeping you on top.

BW: Thank you for your time.

JP: No problem.
October 13, 2009 4:29 PM

OriA, Runs scored is not a valid criterion to use in judging Terry Crowley's season. He had no control of things like when they ran themselves out of innings, which they did far too much of this year.

And it's not his fault that the O's didn't have a big run producer like Pujols or Teixeira in the middle of their lineup. (The player they counted on to be that man, Huff, followed an excellent 2008 season with a mediocre one, a sad tendency he's displated regardless of where he's played and who's been his coach).

Rather, look at things that do reflect Crow's coaching more directly.

The Orioles hit .268 as a team this year, which was fifth-best in the American League, behind only the Yankees, Angels, Twins and Red Sox (in other words, behind the four postseason teams, three of which had significantly higher payrolls than the Orioles.)

Further,O's hitters had the fewest strikeouts in the league with 1013, one better than the Yankees. So, the O's were making contact and getting their share of hits, which are the kind of meaningful stats to look for in evaluating a hitting coach, Runs scored (what they do with those hits) is far less directly relevant.

Crowley was also instrumental in getting players like Jones and Pie to develop as hitters. There's just no way he should have been fired. You need to be less selective in the stats you use.

Todd -

Your posts are starting to drive me insane. You don't need to type a comma after every single name in your post.

You type this: "I don't know what Mike Bordick, is up to..."

I read it like this: "I don't know what Mike Bordick (pause...) is up to..."

In response to Pete's post:

Bring in some new blood. Someone already mentioned Chris Hoiles. If Bordick is interested in the job, it seems like he would be a good coach as well. And I keep coming back to B.J. Surhoff.

One more thing...

Gil -

First off, letting the bench coach walk doesn't in any way insinuate that the bench coach was the problem.

Second, I'm not sure why this is a "non-story". This is a blog. Sure it's not a big story, but if you're going to follow a blog, you're probably going to see every bit of minutiae about the teams covered in said blog. And the probability of seeing every bit of minutiae increases ten fold when there's nothing else going on in the city that said blog covers.

Steve, good stuff. Tito, always talks about how his bench coach is a life saver. I don't think there is a role i.e. 1B, 3B or bench coach that can be classified as inconsequential. Every role is big.

DT, should pick someone he feels close with. I more shocked that there aren't any shakeups given how bad this past season was. My question is other than a former O's player, I am not sure some of the elite coaches would want to come here?

I know Jeff Conine was doing some work with the Marlins and IMHO, he was a guy that played with more passion than any guy we currently have on the roster. Niner, gave 100% every day, but I don't know if there is any relationship between him and DT so no clue on that.

Pete, does the current economic climate with teams cutting payroll or looking to like the Cubs, favor the O's since they can take on big contracts or is this still a last resort destination?

Well, if Ryne Sandberg or B.J. Surhoff get the Bench Coach job, look for Trembley to be gone by June or July.

Juan Samuel is the worst third base coach and base running coach in history.
Don't these guys pay any attention.


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Pete's reply: You're being silly. Samuel had a few bad sends this year, but so did every other third base coach in baseball. He's known around the league as a very good coach, and would have been hired in a New York minute by a better team if he had not been retained.

If Bob Melvin isn't picked up as manager of another team- he should strongly be considered.

I'd like to see Dempsey get a shot at the bench coach position if he wants it.
Other than that my only real disappointment was keeping Samuel, I've never seen so many runners thrown out by such big margins in my life.

ITS A BLOG! CAN WE PLEASE NOT POINT OUT TYPOS LIKE THE TWINS YESTERDAY OR THE COMMAS TODAY. WE ARE HERE TO SHARE SPORTS OPINIONS NOT BE ENGLISH TEACHERS OR POINT OUT MISTAKES. MAN SOME OF YOU GUYS ARE CLOWNS!

b,

Well said.

I was thinking this morning that we should share"the best of" blog comments for the past year about the Orioles.

My favorite was a post on "This season has been so long that" blog. Someone posted, "This season has been so long that the players and fans are demanding that the word Baltimore be removed from the road jerseys".


Serious question, Pete. Why on earth would you bring back a reserve catcher who caught TWO baserunners all season long?

You expect a back-up catcher to not be able to hit, but I'd at least like a back-up that can throw out more than 2 out of every 27 baserunners.

Posted by: Greg | October 13, 2009 9:13 PM
___________________

Having a backup catcher that has a good working relationship with the pitching staff (apparently the pitchers like Moeller) and the number one catcher far outweighs the ability to throw out base runners when playing one game a week. I agree with Schmuck that Moeller did a good job and is a knowledgeable baseball guy. I hope he stays with the club.


...............................................................................................
Pete's reply: The question is definitely a fair one, but I was impressed with Moeller's ability and willingness to act more as a coach for Wieters than a guy worrying about his own playing time. I guess I just like and respect the guy and would like to see him back.

Bring in Ray Lewis to be the bench coach.. Every time a runner makes a base running error, he has to spend one on one time in the club house with Ray! See if that stops Wiggy and others from running the bases like they have blindfolds on!

Let me get this straight. AM keeps DT, then DT gets rid of his only threat on the coaching staff and also the poor shlepper that is the left handed BP pitcher....really good moves. A question--Is Rod Serling alive and running my baseball team? It sure as hell looks like it


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Pete's reply: C'mon Norm, do you really think Dave Jauss had a chance to be the next Orioles manager? And is there a person on this planet with half a brain that thinks the BP pitcher was kept or not as some kind of penance for the season? Get a grip here.

I was ready to say Rick Dempsey for bench coach but then Todd mentioned BJ Surhoff. I love that idea! BJ would be a great coach and future manager; not sure what he's been doing lately though? He sure loved the Orioles/Baltimore plus he has catching experience, and from what I recall, he's a real student of the game. I remember him always giving advise to the younger players. Go BJ!

"The Orioles hit .268 as a team this year, which was fifth-best in the American League, behind only the Yankees, Angels, Twins and Red Sox.

Further, O's hitters had the fewest strikeouts in the league. So, the O's were making contact and getting their share of hits."

The O's were making hits and avoided strikeouts, but they also weren't getting many walks. We were fourth worst in the AL in walks. This indicates as well as our low strikeout number that we weren't a very patient team and that this possibly cost us.

This is why despite having a good batting average we were around average in plate appearances.

Very disappointed to hear Trembley yesterday say the O's "next year" will not allow base running mistakes, not hitting the cutoff man and other fundamentals.
Reminds me of Congress saying they will fund the Healthcare Bill by eliminating Medicare fraud and abuse. This should have been done the last 10 years.
"Trembley-why didn't you do eliminate these errors this past year?! Young or poor pitching is one thing. Allowing poor fundamentals is on you my friend. It ain't going to change.

uhh... matty gibb, I think you meant... IT(' or is)S A BLOG! CAN WE PLEASE NOT POINT OUT TYPO(graphical error)S LIKE THE TWINS YESTERDAY OR THE COMMAS TODAY(?) WE ARE HERE TO SHARE SPORTS OPINIONS(,) NOT (TO) BE ENGLISH TEACHERS OR POINT OUT MISTAKES. MAN(,) SOME OF YOU GUYS ARE CLOWNS!

HAHAHAHA!

I think the O's should pull a monday night football and get someone totally ridiculous to be the bench coach, ala Tony Kornheiser, Dennis Miller.

My picks are:
Baltimore Film Directors Barry Levinson and John Waters
Michael Reghi
Albert Belle
The Dad from Bird Commercial
Rick Dempsey (so they take him off the postgame show)
Tom Davis (so he can be snippy with players like his callers)
Dave Johnson (as long as they cut him off with frenetic music as he tries to make a point)
Sidney Ponson (he probably could use the money)


Matt,

They did not have a high walk total, because they do not have hitters that really strike fear into the opponents. They did not have a legitimate long ball threat.

Also Markakis was down a little because of the fact he was placed into the cleanup spot and changed his hitting approach, he admitted to that. Hope next year it changes.

Thanks to Steve for his post.

So let me rephrase my question - what does the bench coach do that one of the other 5-6 guys sitting around with their hands in their pockets looked bored (including the manager) couldn't do?

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Pete's reply: The duties of the bench coach vary from team to team, but generally he's a sounding board during the game for managerial strategy and may also be the guy telling players to prepare in advance for a substitution. In this case, he'll also likely be the spring training coordinator. It's a fairly complex job, but it's fair to ask why another coach couldn't perform the same duties. Somebody else probably could, but that's one of the six fulltime staff positions.

On a club that performed so miserably with respect to fundamentals, I really don't see any need for a bench coach.

The management structure here needs to be flattened if there is ever going to be accountability.

Somebody had to take the blame for the O's many mental errors. It could have been Trembley, but the brass made the decision to let him stay, which I'm neutral to.

This is a pretty good decision, under those circumstances. The Orioles had less talent than the rest of the league, and coaching can't be blamed for that. However, they also looked unprepared a number of times, and that's the coaching staff's responsibility.

"They did not have a high walk total, because they do not have hitters that really strike fear into the opponents. They did not have a legitimate long ball threat."

Thanks for the answer, but I'm not sure that's the reason. Pitchers throw our batters about the same amount of balls and strikes as batters on other AL Teams.

Also, we did have a very low First Strike Rate. This should indicate that we should get more walks then average. The fact that we don't indicates bad plate discipline.

CB Coach,

I'm terribly sorry. I posted that last post with your name instead of mine. Talk about a brain fart.

My apologies.

That is ok, thought I was having a discussion with myself for a second that was scary!

Well Markakis is the one that really went down on OBP by a large margin. Huff also while he was here. Izturis has always been a free swinger. But the fact is there is not too many hitters especially this year that clubs had to pitch around.

How about Buck Martinez?

How about Buck Martinez?

Grady Little is the answer here. A former catcher with big league managing experience.

FYI- Chris Hoiles was the coach of an independent team (York Revolution) in Southern PA from 2006-2009. At best glance, I think he had a winning record around .500. What intrigues me is the coaching staff of the Revolution has always been former O's. The current staff is Andy Etchebarren (Manager), Sam Snider (Hitting/Bench Coach), Tippy Martinez (Pitching Coach). I think Al Bumbry coached with Hoiles at some point too.

My point is, he was a descent catcher, a good hitter, and has coaching experience with former Orioles, continuing the Oriole Way.

I think Chris Hoiles would be a great addition. His experience in the clubhouse could help many of the young guys.

OriA, Runs scored is not a valid criterion to use in judging Terry Crowley's season. He had no control of things like when they ran themselves out of innings, which they did far too much of this year.

The Orioles are and have been an incredibly inpatient team. The teams approach in the batter's box and on the basepaths is and has been flawed. Crowley took over in 1998. What else started in 1998?

The new bench coach will be a good and popular choice: B. J. Surhoff.

Pete, The examples I gave (Jauss & BP guy) were just that-Examples! I'm only thinking the whole situation is so screwed up that the team seems to be looking for outs. I never heard of Dave Jauss until he landed here, so I couldn't have an opinion on his qualifications. By the way, I did remember reading about Jauss as manager probably in the Sun. Did anyone else see it? I hope so because I'm old and that's scary. No matter what happens, it's still GO O's

How bout B.J. Suroff?

Peter,
It is my understanding that Juan is invaluable in the clubhouse as an"uncle-figure" for our Spanish-speaking players; he is from The Dominican, so I guess that he may provide credibility for the O's with young players from his homeland. Some of the young whippersnappers on this blog may not be aware of Samuel's stature in his homeland.

Pete, have you heard any more about Roberto Alomar and his health? Is he eligible for the hall of fame next year? Thanks.

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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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