The Orioles thought their coaching staff was completed with Juan Samuel returning to third base and Don Wakamatsu taking a seat in the dugout beside manager Buck Showalter, and you know how that scenario turned out. Wakamatsu agreed to become the Blue Jays’ bench coach and Samuel was hired as the Phillies’ third base coach and outfield instructor.
Four slots are currently filled, but there are growing concerns that the Orioles could lose bullpen coach Rick Adair, who might be coveted as a pitching coach in Pittsburgh or New York, depending on the managerial hires.
One member of the organization said it’s “50-50” that Adair could take another job because he’ll be heavily pursued.
The Orioles also were concerned about losing Mark Connor as pitching coach, but he’s not going anywhere.
Money talked for Wakamatsu. The Blue Jays apparently are giving him the equivalent of a manager’s salary.
A few more items:
* I wouldn’t expect Mike Bordick or B.J. Surhoff to end up on the coaching staff this season. Everything is subject to change, as we’ve learned, but right now it appears that, while they’re both highly regarded by Showalter, the club will go in another direction.
* I’m told that Showalter would prefer an experienced coach at third base, so he’s not likely to experiment with a first-timer. Again, that eliminates Bordick unless something changes.
* Surhoff is expected to be part of the organization in some capacity, most likely involving the minors.
* Showalter is flying back into Baltimore tonight and will meet with a candidate tomorrow.
* Bobby Dickerson, who took over as manager at Triple-A Norfolk after Gary Allenson replaced Samuel at third base, is drawing serious consideration. Dickerson had been working as the organization’s minor league infield coordinator and Latin America field coordinator.
*Allenson also remains a possibility. He has a history with Showalter from their days together in the Yankees’ minor league system.
* Having a Spanish-speaking coach is preferred but not a requirement. The Orioles would be willing to hire a staff assistant to help bridge the communication gap. People in the organization believe it’s more important to have bilingual coaches in the minors.