Buck on coaching decisions: the sooner the better

Just two days after saying he would probably wait until after the World Series to make the final judgment, manager Buck Showalter has taken a “the sooner, the better” approach regarding the fate of the Orioles current six-man staff.

“That’s not something that I’m going to string along for very long, in fairness to everybody concerned,'” Showalter said prior to Friday’s doubleheader. “We’ve had a couple conversations with them…I’m going to try to speed up the process a little before they all leave so they know what’s going on.

“Instead of waiting ’til after the World Series or something like that. I’d like to stay away from that timeframe. I don’t think it’s fair to them or their families,whether it’s positive or negative.”

Showalter has said previously that’s it’s possible he retains the entire coaching staff –inherited from ex-manager Dave Trembley and interim Juan Samuel — although that seems like a long shot. It’s more plausible Showalter will fill at least a portion of next season’s staff with his own coaches, although he has understandably shied away from speculating.  

“I’m focused on the six coaches here and what they could potentially bring. I’m not out there coveting other [staffs],” he said. “There’s are a lot of people capable of doing the job I’m doing as good, if not better, and they understand how competitive this business is. But I can tell you this, I can see why [the current coaches’] work was wanted and coveted and why they are well thought of.”
 
Showalter will meet with the current coaches individually, hopefully on Saturday, to let them know which direction he’s heading so -whether they return or not – each knows where they stand and if they need to start looking around the League.

Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley has been with the organization for two stints totaling 16 years, including the last 12 consecutive seasons. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz, first base coach John “T-Bone” Shelby and bullpen coach Alan Dunn are finishing their third full seasons, while bench coach Jeff Datz is in his first year in Baltimore. Third base coach Gary Allenson started the season as Triple-A Norfolk’s manager, but was promoted to the big league club after Juan Samuel moved from third base to interim manager in early June.

Although president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has the final say, MacPhail has said previously that Showalter will have the flexibility to do what he wants in terms of bringing people in from outside the organization. Simply put, Showalter can elect whomever he wants to serve on his staff, and MacPhail retains “veto power”.

Dismissed Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, Rangers special assistant Mark Connor and Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield are both close friends of Showalter’s and rumored to be in the mix, and Showalter has also made it clear that he wants to retain the old “Oriole Way” making it plausible that he brings former players back into the organization in some official capacity.

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