Results tagged ‘ Juan Samuel ’

A few tidbits..

*A reminder that the Orioles have until midnight tonight to decide whether to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara and Kevin Millwood. More details are up on the site here.

Do I think the Orioles will offer Uehara arbitration? I don’t know. I know they want him back, and it would seem like a good idea, in my opinion. He is due a substantial raise for essentially half a season, so they could gamble and pass but they have money to spend and a fan base that’s tired of guys being passed over. 

*Willie Randolph is close to joining Buck Showalter’s staff, and is in discussions with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail about a contract. I’ve been asked a few times what the holdup was and from what I heard it had nothing to do with monetary factors, like the Juan Samuel situation. Showalter simply took his time going through candidates. After Don Wakamatus opted to go to Toronto, Showalter was deliberate in mulling over numerous candidates, some who knew they were in the mix and some who didn’t. In the end, assuming Randolph agrees to terms, and I think he will, it’s a pretty impressive group of two former managers (inc. John Russell) and a bullpen coach (Rick Adair) who has also served as a Major League pitching coach. Lots of experience and expertise.

*Don’t expect much of anything on the Hot Stove concerning the Orioles, or anyone in the next few days. With a short holiday week a lot of GMs will be traveling and while there could be a few minor transactions it’s unlikely anything notable involving the O’s will go down.

*Also, an interesting premise by NY Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, who deems the Orioles “lucky” to have given Buck a chance. Here’s a snippet of the story with the full column up here

“So everybody loves Buck now, and not just in Baltimore. Everybody wants to know why their teams didn’t hire Buck in the years after he left Texas. I hear guys who thought Buck was obsessive and controlling and manipulative – the short list – now asking why the Mets didn’t hire him. Terrific.

But he’d been fired three places and had to go back to ESPN, so often a shelter for fired coaches and managers and even general managers, before the Orioles were smart enough to give him a shot. Suddenly, nearly 20 years after the Yankees first gave him a shot, Buck is the hot kid all over again.

You know what owners and general managers really know about the managers they hire in the end? That they never know.” 

Juan on what happened

Juan Samuel just had a conference call with the media and the subject of why he left Baltimore for Philly obviously came up. Here’s his response, courtesy of’s Phillies reporter Todd Zolecki. If you missed it, the full story on Samuel’s departure is up here.

“I probably had about three conversations with Buck Showalter and Andy MacPhail,” Samuel said. “They wanted to see if I wanted to come back to the [third base] role I was before I took over the club and left the team. We talked about my role. But in the end things just didn’t come out the way I wanted them to be.

And then later here the Phillies came into the picture through my agent Rex Gary and things developed quickly. It was a decision I had to do, and my heart had a lot to do with it. And I think the right decision was made.

It was very unfortunate things didn’t work out with Baltimore, but we just couldn’t finish up the contract situation with Baltimore. And to be fair with the Orioles and everybody and Buck Showalter, I told them, time is crucial here for everybody and if they’re just going to continue to drag and we’re not going to get things done we’re just going to have to go our separate ways and give the Orioles time to find somebody if I didn’t come back. So time had a lot to do with it. And Philly came into the picture and it was a very good situation.”

Juan to the Phillies is official (updated)

Former Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel will not be a part of the organization in 2011. In a move that had grown from speculation to near-certainty the Philadelphia Phillies unveiled Samuel as their new third base coach on Thursday afternoon, a move that shifts Sam Perlozzo to first-base duties starting next spring.

Samuel’s name was not immediately in the mix for O’s manager Buck Showalter’s staff, but after Toronto’s  third base coach Brian Butterfield opted to remain with the Blue Jays, Showalter reached out to Samuel, who gave the new O’s skipper his word that he would return.

But the two sides couldn’t agree on terms, and on Monday, citing several sources close to the situation, reported that Samuel’s future would likely be in Philadelphia.  

“[We are] grateful to Juan for the work he has done for us in a wide variety of roles this past season,” president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said in an email to “He is a true professional and class individual.”

Originally signed as a undrafted free agent by Philadelphia in 1980, Samuel spent from ’83-89 with the big league club and went on to garner National League All-Star honors three times during his 16-year career. Samuel, who became the first Latin-born manager in Orioles history when he temporarily took over for Dave Trembley, was enshrined on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame in 2008.

The opportunity to join his former team came when first base coach Davey Lopes announced his departure at season’s end. Given Samuel’s expertise in outfield/baserunning instruction -which is what Lopes handled – his name quickly became a target.

“I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan’s stature to our coaching staff,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in the release.  “He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of Phillies history and I’m looking forward to him passing on his knowledge of the game to our players.  He’s a great addition to our organization.”

Samuel isn’t the only former O’s skipper moving on to a new organization. The Atlanta Braves also named Trembley their Minor League field coordinator on Thursday.

Trembley became the Orioles manager during the 2007 season and maintained that role until he was fired in June.  During his four seasons as Baltimore’s skipper, his clubs combined to go 187-283.

Highly regarded during his 20 seasons as a Minor League manager, Trembley takes over for Tommy Shields, who had spent each of the past four seasons as the Braves Minor League Field coordinator.

A few tidbits

*Free agency brings about all sorts of rumors, with any scrap of info having the potential to become “big news”. The Orioles aren’t going to reveal who they are in on and who they aren’t. I know they’ve made some calls, both to former players turned free agents and options outside the organization. How active they are compared to other years or other organizations is impossible to say. But they are certainly throwing their name in there.  President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is close to the vest and always has been, so the potential of hearing “the Orioles have contacted player X” is less likely than with other clubs. I wouldn’t read too much into that.

*I wrote last night about Juan Samuel exploring other options outside of Baltimore, namely joining the Phillies staff as first-base coach.’s Todd Zolecki has more on that today on his blog including a quote from Samuel’s agent, Rex Gary. 

“We’ve been in touch with the Phillies, just very recently,” said Gary. “I don’t know where it’s going to go, but there’s obviously a position and Juan Samuel is still available. We’ll see. We’ve been in touch with other teams, too. But I will acknowledge that we have spoken with the Phillies.”

The Orioles have yet to agree contractually with Samuel, who is currently still in the Dominican Republic, and the feeling out of Baltimore is that he’s likely headed for Charlie Manuel’s staff. No offer is believed to have been extended by the Phillies yet.

*The O’s also have to fill a bench coach spot and although I’ve gotten a few emails about it, it won’t be Samuel. My guess is Showalter will go with someone experienced, and it could very well depend on who does (or doesn’t) get the two remaining managerial openings in New York and Pittsburgh. If Samuel does go to Philly, Gary Allenson has a chances to stay on Showalter’s staff as third base coach. He’s a former catcher, which is another plus since the O’s don’t have a staff member with specific catching expertise.

*If you missed it last night, has a story that Japanese middle infielder middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka could potentially be posted to MLB teams. Have the Orioles scouted him and would they be interested if he does become available? The answer to both questions is yes. But don’t get too excited as this is all in the infancy stages.

What about Juan?

Amid speculation that former Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel would stay in Baltimore and return to his third-base post, multiple sources confirmed on Monday night that Samuel’s future with the O’s is far from certain.

Samuel was not present at the Orioles mini-organizational meetings in Arizona that took place last week, and the sentiment is Samuel is leaning toward other options, which include joining Charlie Manuel’s staff as Phillies first-base coach. Samuel is one of several candidates being considered for the position vacated by Davey Lopes, and given his ties to the Phillies organization as a player — as well as his experience as an outfield/baserunning instructor – it makes sense.   

The Phillies have had conversations with Samuel, who is currently in the Dominican Republic, but no formal offer has been extended. A highly-respected baseball man, Samuel is a candidate to join several organizations as a coach, including the Mets, whose staff is still in a state of flux while they conduct a managerial search.

Following Brian Butterfield’s decision to stay in Toronto, Samuel was thought to be the Orioles leading candidate to return to his third base role, a position he held until manager Dave Trembley’s dismissal in June.

And while there is still a chance he ends up in Baltimore, the organization has yet to reach an agreement contractually with Samuel as they have with pitching coach Mark Connor, hitting coach Jim Presley, bullpen coach Rick Adair and first base coach Wayne Kirby.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail have both declined to comment on the coaching staff until it is complete and official. Showalter did acknowledge on Monday night that there are still some “moving parts” regarding his staff, which would be a third-base coach and a bench coach.

Orioles/Royals lineups and tibdits

*Buck Showalter called soon to be ex-interim manager Juan Samuel today to tell him how much he’d like Juan to stay on board.  Samuel said he will meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail when the team returns on Monday to discuss his future. Samuel has been offered back his third base job, but he acknowledged on Thursday it would be awkward to go back to that spot, particularly since he has never met or worked with Showalter. The sentiment is Samuel likely won’t stay (although the rest of the coaching staf will stay in place until the season ends.)
*Jason Berken hasn’t pitched since July 24, but interim manager Juan Samuel said there’s not to worry about.
“He is ready to pitch when we need him,” Samuel said.  We just wanted to give him some time off.”
*Nick Markakis is batting second now that Miguel Tejada is officially a Padre. Josh Bell is here but he can’t play until tomorrow due to the 10-day rule when you get optioned down. So the O’s will play with a short bench, consisting of backup catcher Jake Fox and Julio Lugo tonight.

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Corey Patterson DH
Cesar Izturis SS
Jake Arrieta RHP

Chris Getz 2B
Jason Kendall C
Billy Butler 1B
Jose Guillen DH
Rick Ankiel CF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mitch Maier RF
Sean O’Sullivan RHP

Samuel ponders his future

KANSAS CITY–Interim manager Juan Samuels’ temporary tenure with the Orioles will end with Sunday’s series finale in Kansas City. Baltimore made the hiring of Buck Showalter official on Thursday afternoon, and the new skipper will be unveiled in a press conference on Monday, leaving Samuel -who will move back to third base coach — to ponder his future in the organization.

“I have not met Buck at all,” Samuel said. “I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable, I don’t want to feel uncomfortable myself. So, I’m going to think about [what to do] in the next few days. And it’s a decision I’m going to make at the end of this weekend.”

Samuel, who entered Thursday with a 16-31 record as Orioles manager, acknowledged it will be tough to go back to his former position at third base and said he will undoubtedly “throw in his hat” in other managerial openings, both now and down the road.

“I don’t think it could get any tougher [to manage] than the situation that we are in,” said Samuel who took over after the dismissal of Dave Trembley (15-39) on June 4.

“Hopefully this opportunity will give me that [respect] and people will probably notice that Sammy can do it. And when managerial jobs open my name will be in there. I think I can do this. Yes, if the opportunity comes up I’d love to do it again.”

Samuel said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail was very communicative in the managerial search, and he spoke with MacPhail on Thursday morning about Showalter’s hiring.

“I thanked him for the opportunity because it was a tremendous opportunity for me,” Samuel said of his first managerial gig. “You never know you can do something until you start doing it.

“This was a great, great experience for me, it was a great school. I look at it that way. Nothing but positive could come out of this.”

Samuel on umpires and accountability

Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel, a player for 16 years, agreed that there has been a shift in the way blown calls are handled. In the wake of last night’s trio of ejections, which started when first base umpire Gary Darling ruled J.J. Hardy safe at first base, Samuel was asked if there’s a difference in accountability now as opposed to when he was playing.

“Gary’s been around for a long time,” Samuel said of Darling. “And I just think for me, from my point of view, [if] guys will admit, ‘Yes I missed it. And everything stop there.’

I think nowadays guys kind of they say, ‘Well I see it this way, and that’s how I see it and that’s how it is’. In the past, I think guys would admit things more and you just wish it was like that again. But you also have a lot of new and young umpires coming up and you are going to have those situations.”

Questioned after the game, Darling said he saw the replay although he was hesitant to completely admit he got the call wrong.

“[Wigginton] missed him the first time and on a close play, he got him the second time it looked like,” Darling said. “It was a close play.”

In case you missed it, Wigginton was suspended for three games by Major League Baseball for his actions on Thursday night and will appeal the suspension

More quotes on the ejections

As you may have read, the Orioles had a trio of ejections — first baseman Ty Wigginton, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and interim manager Juan Samuel — that went down in the seventh innings of Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Twins. The fully story is up, and you can read it here.

Here are some more quotes on that..

Ty Wigginton, who was ejected for arguing a call which first base umpire Gary Darling later admitted he got wrong…

“I don’t think they’ll be anything other than a normal ejection. In baseball you’ve got the option of questioning a call, and he ejected me for questioning a call.

“You get the leadoff guy on [in J.J. Hard] and he goes first pitch and we get him hung out to dry. I felt he was out. Getting that leadoff guy out would be a big part in the game. You’re four runs down, that’s one swing of the bat and it’s a tie ballgame.

“[First base umpire Gary Darling] said I missed him. I felt he was out. We’re in last place, and anytime you’re in last place there’s a lot of frustration in the season. Obviously that’s not where we wanted to be. Frustration is all part of the game.”

Rick Kranitz who was ejected one out after Wigginton for his actions on the bench when Hardy scored…

“I didn’t say anything [to get ejected]. I sarcastically clapped in the way that the umpire, I guess [home plate ump] Bill Hohn took offense to. Yeah you know I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t the right thing to do, but you know, you get frustrated. Especially when Kevin [Millwood has] been on the mound, crazy things have happened when he pitched. And he was on a pretty good roll on the time, it was reaction, shouldn’t have happened.”

“Sure there’s frustration. I think anytime you are not winning ball games, as many as we think we should be winning. [Twins starter Carl] Pavano had that game in hand, obviously. That call didn’t change the outcome of the game by any stretch of the imagination. It was just frustration on everybody’s part. I think we’re all tired of losing some ball games. And when something happens and it doesn’t go our way, you say and do things you shouldn’t do.”

“I was a little bit surprised with [the ejection.] Yeah, I am. I’m surprised.”

Juan Samuel who was ejected for sticking up for Kranitz…

 “We thought Wiggy tagged [Hardy] not once but twice. Gary after watching the replay probably will admit it was a blown call. Unfortunately, he didn’t go out way. Basically Kranny didn’t do anything to get thrown out o the game, so I guess emotions were very high tonight. And as a result, we saw what happened.”
(oh really?): “I don’t think I was angry tonight. I just didn’t think Kranny deserved to be thrown out. He did not do anything basically to deserve being thrown out. I don’t know if they know that they blew the call and fuses were very short.”
“Kranny didn’t say anything. That’s what I was trying to tell Bill Hohn. Kranny did not say anything. I was trying to tell him. How can you blame Kranny when one of your guys blew the call? Kranny didn’t deserve that. He didn’t miss the call.”
“I did not see Wiggy touch [Darling]. I did not see a replay. I did not see any video. I was just trying to make sure we didn’t do something that we would not be proud of. I was trying to restrain him a little bit. I did not see Wiggy touch him.”

Umpire Bill Hohn on Kranitz..

“I ejected him for his actions on the bench, is the reason why he got ejected. He knows the reason why he got ejected. You saw what he did on the field.”

Umpire Gary Darling, who said Wigginton bumped him in the chest during his tirade…

“I will send in my report to the league and they make the decision on anything.”
Darling also admitted Hardy was out..

“We looked at it, [Wigginton] missed him the first time and on a close play, he got him the second time it looked like. It was a close play.”

J.J. Hardy

“I thought I was [safe] until I saw the replay…I just got done talking to [Wigginton] and it seemed like he was in a pretty good mood. I think maybe we were talking about the weather before that pitch and he said it’s been really hot and then the next thing I know, he’s up in Darling’s face.”

Os Trio Tossed (w. quotes)

BALTIMORE– Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton, pitching coach Rick Kranitz and interim manager Juan Samuel were all ejected Thursday night at separate points of an ugly seventh inning that ended in a 5-0 Twins win.

“I guess emotions were very high tonight,” said Samuel, who stomped on his hat and flung it onto the mound like a Frisbee as he stormed off after being tossed.  “And as a result, we saw what happened.”

Wigginton went first, as he was ejected in the top of the inning by first-base umpire Gary Darling, who ruled that Wigginton missed the tag on J.J. Hardy, who slid headfirst to get back to the bag.

“You get the leadoff guy on and he goes first pitch and we get him hung out to dry,” Wigginton said of Hardy, who turned and tried to head back to first base after catcher Craig Tatum threw down to second. “I felt he was out.”

He was. Television replays showed Wigginton clearly tagging both of Hardy’s outstretched hands and Wigginton threw his hat off and went on a tirade — that included Samuel coming out to the field to restrain him – after Darling gave him the boot.  

“I thought I was [safe] until I saw the replay,” Harding said. “I just got done talking to [Wigginton] and it seemed like he was in a pretty good mood. I think maybe we were talking about the weather before that pitch and he said it’s been really hot and then the next thing I know, he’s up in Darling’s face.”

Red-faced with rage, Wigginton flipped the ball in the stands on his way out and Samuel -who came out to keep the infielder from doing something “that would [the team] would not be prove of” – walked back to the dugout. Samuel, who hadn’t seen the replay when speaking to reporters post-game, said he didn’t believe Wigginton made contact with Darling, but the umpire ruled otherwise.

“[Wigginton made contact] in the chest [and] stomach,” said Darling, who admitted he botched the call. “[I] will send in my report to the League and they make the decision on anything.”

The crowd of 20, 108 issued a loud chorus of boos for several moments following the play and the tension continued to build at Camden Yards. One out later, after Drew Butera singled and Hardy came around to score, Kranitz sarcastically started clapping from the dugout and home plate umpire Bill Hohn made him Orioles casualty No. 2.

“I shouldn’t have done that. It wasn’t the right thing to do, but you know, you get frustrated,” Kranitz said of his actions, which got him his second ejection this season.

“I guess Bill Hohn took offense to [the clapping]”

When asked about the nonverbal cues that got Kranitz tossed, Hohn said his actions on the bench were “unprofessional and uncalled for”.

Samuel didn’t see it that way, and he stormed the field and began a sequence of events that involved putting a beating on his baseball cap and giving Hohn an earful.

“Kranny did not say anything. I was trying to tell [Hohn], ‘How can you blame Kranny when one of your guys blew the call?’,” said Samuel, who became the third Oriole to retreat to the clubhouse after being tossed for arguing on Kranitz’s half.  “Kranny didn’t deserve that. He didn’t miss the call.”

“We thought Wiggy tagged the guy, not once but twice. Gary after watching the replay probably will admit it was a blown call. Unfortunately, he didn’t go our way.”

Wigginton was replaced by Jake Fox at first base, with bench coach Jeff Datz taking over for Samuel and reliever Michael Gonzalez coming out to replace starter Kevin Millwood.

“You know, we want to win,” Kranitz said of an Orioles squad that is a Major League-worst 30-65. “And we want to win bad. And you could just see the competitiveness in Wiggy and how he went about [arguing for the team.]”