Staff injections

There’s a chill in the air this morning, which reminds me that winter is right around the corner. And my snow shovel is down in my laundry room, propped up against a wall and mocking me at every opportunity.

I really need to buy gloves, but I’m not ready to concede that summer is over. I’ll be playing tennis again and sitting outside with a grande skim latte. I just know it.

I’ve officially grown tired of writing/talking/thinking about the Orioles’ coaching staff, but the topic won’t go away until we know who’s returning, who’s leaving and who’s being hired.


Hitting coach Terry Crowley is coming back, which eliminates the speculation that Brady Anderson or B.J. Surhoff were preparing to take over that job.

It’s become apparent that manager Buck Showalter is waiting while Don Wakamatsu and Brian Butterfield interview for the 50 or so vacant managerial positions. We’ve also heard plenty about Showalter’s previous ties to Mark Connor, his pitching coach in Texas.

If Showalter was determined to clean house, it wouldn’t matter which one of his previous coaches remained available this winter or joined other organizations. He’d eventually plug in another name. The delay makes you wonder whether a few holdovers could remain here if specific candidates find jobs elsewhere. Hence, the delay in making any announcements.

Imagine being one of the Orioles coaches and waking up each morning waiting for that phone call. Good times.

Gary Allenson is really twisting in the wind. He could continue serving as third base coach. He could be reassigned to another post on the major league staff. He could go back to Triple-A Norfolk, where he managed before replacing Juan Samuel at third. He could be unemployed.

My gut tells me that he’ll have a job in this organization, even if that means returning to the International League.

We’ve discussed how Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail want to bring in more former Orioles. Anderson will have duties beyond MASN, though the final details are being hammered out. Mike Bordick is a roving minor league instructor who could take on other responsibilities. Surhoff’s presence at Camden Yards this summer raised all sorts of speculation.

Is there one former Oriole that you’d especially want to see on this coaching staff - someone who isn’t already in uniform for every game?

Plenty of people will say Jim Palmer, but if he hasn’t taken a job as pitching coach before now, I think it’s safe to say it will never happen.

Nobody wants Jeff Stone working with the outfielders. The late Alan Wiggins never would have been asked to set up the baserunning station at spring training. Too many guys would have fallen for the hidden ball trick.

Now we’re onto something here. Which ex-Oriole do you want on the coaching staff, and which ones would be poor fits for specific jobs?

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