Randolph talking terms with MacPhail
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is expected to finalize his coaching staff in the next day or two and it figures to be one that boasts vast experience and expertise, with at least one -and possibly two – former Major League managers.
Ex-Mets skipper Willie Randolph, a close friend and former colleague of Showalter’s, is the O’s top choice for the sixth and final position on staff, with the organization currently discussing contract terms. The move is not official and it’s still being determined whether Randolph would serve as third base coach or bench coach.
Given his infield experience and well-known love for teaching and instruction, Randolph’s name surfaced along with Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson and Orioles instructor Bobby Dickerson on a list Showalter carefully deliberated on following Don Wakamatsu’s decision to go to Toronto.
The Baltimore Sun was the first to report on Monday night that the two sides were negotiating a possible deal that would bring Randolph -fresh off a one-year stint as the Brewers bench coach – to Baltimore. A source close to the situation confirmed that Randolph is in contract talks with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, and cited Randolph’s work with young players like Milwaukee’s Rickie Weeks and emphasis on development as key in Showalter’s decision.
Reached at his home on Sunday evening, Randolph declined to discuss specifically coming to Baltimore, but made it clear he wouldn’t view a coaching job anywhere with one eye elsewhere.
“In my case you are looking for an opportunity that fits,” he said. “And you give your heart and soul to that. But it’s not like I’m doing this just to manage. I have a passion for the game, and the young players. I love what I do. It’s not about using a situation to try to get ahead.”
Showalter has declined to comment on any portion of his staff until the process is complete, as has MacPhail. Particularly with the way things unraveled in contract talks with Juan Samuel -who left for Philadelphia – it’s important to note that while Randolph is a strong possibility, it is not official.
The O’s have agreed to terms with hitting coach Jim Presley, pitching coach Mark Connor, bullpen coach Rick Adair, first base coach Wayne Kirby and former Pirates skipper John Russell, although some details regarding Russell’s position depends on Showalter’s final hire.