MacPhail on Valentine, Showalter

BALTIMORE–Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed on Wednesday evening that the organization interviewed Buck Showalter earlier in the afternoon for Baltimore’s vacant managerial position.

MacPhail also confirmed previous interviewee Bobby Valentine officially withdrew his name from the Orioles’ search, in a report first made public by ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian.

MacPhail said he spoke with Valentine’s agent but had not read the statement in Kurkjian’s article, which quoted Valentine as saying he thought he should turn elsewhere.

“I am honored and flattered that the Orioles reached out with this potential opportunity, but at this time in my career, I feel I should direct my energies in another direction,” said Valentine said in the story.

With the dismissal of Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on Wednesday morning, Florida president David Samson confirmed that he has already been in talks with Valentine, and it’s well known that the organization will try to find a long-term replacement as soon as possible.

“I could speculate [why Valentine withdrew], but we are still in the middle of the process,” said MacPhail who reiterated he does not have a timetable for finding a permanent replacement for Dave Trembley. “We are at the beginning of the middle of the process.”

That process will start to include reaching out to other Major League teams to inquire about currently employed members of another club’s staff. The first phase, according to MacPhail, was to reach out to candidates who weren’t employed, with Showalter and former Indians manager Eric Wedge each getting an interview.

“I think we want to get it right, whether it’s in two weeks or two months [is] probably not as important as getting the right guy,”said MacPhail who didn’t anticipate making a hire prior to the All-Star Break. “I don’t think, frankly given our place in the standings, urgency is as paramount as it might be to a team like the Marlins who are still a few game within striking distance.”

Showalter’s interview lasted around three hours and MacPhail called it both educational and enjoyable to exchange ideas with the current ESPN analyst.

Showalter was the American League Manager of the year in 1994 with New York and in ’04 with Texas. He also spent three years with the D-backs, leading the second-year team to a 100-win season in ’99.

MacPhail declined to divulge any further details of the meeting with Showalter and said he had no other meetings planned in the near future. Although, even if he did, the notoriously close-to-vest MacPhail admitted he probably wouldn’t share that with the media.

“I’ve taken the position right or wrong that the more low-key we can go the better, “MacPhail said.

“It’s really awkward in these in-season [searches] because you have an existing manager.”

That manager is former third base coach Juan Samuel, who was promoted to Orioles interim skipper following Trembley’s dismissal on June 4. MacPhail said first-time manager Samuel will still be considered for the job, although he has made it no secret that the organization will place an emphasis on experience. MacPhail wasn’t sure if the League would require him to officially interview Samuel, given that he gets to show the organization firsthand what he can do. The Orioles (19-51) entered Wednesday 4-12 under Samuel.

Former Oriole and current MASN broadcaster Rick Dempsey is expected to meet with MacPhail sometime in the near future, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun. The Sun also said no interview date has been set.

3 Comments

As much as I admired Rick Dempsey as a player, I am not sure that this is the situation that you through a rookie manager into. I don’t know if he would be interested but I think he could do a lot more good to the O’s by managing the Norfolk Tides. We need someone to get the top prospects ready to play at this level. He likely would provide honest assessments on the players and ensure they play the game the right way, fundementally sound, the Oriole way.

I think Rick Dempsey would be the perfect manager for the O`s . With all the young pitchers we have he could take the pressure off them by telling them what pitches to throw from the dug-out. Seems to have worked pretty good for the Angels. Whomever they hire outside of Rick Dempsey will not have more baseball knowledge of the game nor will they be able to deal with the players and situations as well. Rick Dempsey should be the Orioles next manager.

Orioles fan since ’69
Raiders 76

If Baltimore really wants to get things going now and for the future, they should consider candidates who know the Oriole way. The people I refer to are, for instance, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Mike Flanagan (on the field, not front office) and Cal Ripken. The days of Terry Crowley as hitting coach are over, we need fresh, young minds who are full of experience and tradition. Murray as hitting coach, Palmer as pitching coach, Ripken as bench and infield and Flanagan as manager (since he has front office experience and baseball personel experience). For now put Rick Dempsey in the bullpen to work with the pitchers there to get them ready to come in and relieve. The pitchers, now are nowhere ready when called upon and dont get the chance to throw many pitches. Dempsey could also work with Wieters on how to seperate hitting from catching and to slow him down. the rest will fall into place. I know this seems crazy, but think about it, it might just work.

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