Manager Buck Showalter confirmed Tuesday that he only has two coaching vacancies to fill. John Russell signed a new contract, allowing him to join holdovers Rick Adair, Jim Presley and Wayne Kirby.
Russell will remain on the bench. Kirby, however, isn’t sure where he’ll coach.
Kirby served as first base coach last season, but it’s still possible that he moves across the diamond to replace Willie Randolph.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Kirby said last night. “I told Buck, ‘Whatever you want me to do.’ If he wants me to go to third, I’ll go to third. If I’m at first, that’s fine. They’ll get a coach and deal with it afterward.
“As long as I’m on the field. As long as I’m out there having fun.”
Kirby’s only been on a major league staff for one season, but he coached third base in the minors and would be comfortable making the switch.
“The first week was tough,” he said. “You feel like everybody is watching you. But the good thing for me is, I was a baserunner when I played. I knew when to tag, when to send runners, how good the arms were (in the outfield.) It was easy for me.
“The hardest part was getting eye contact with the runner and making sure he knew what he was doing.”
Young players tend to focus more on removing their batting gloves and chatting up the first baseman.
By the way, Randolph still doesn’t have a job lined up for 2012.
Also, we’re waiting to find out whether Adair remains as pitching coach or goes back to the bullpen.
Showalter met with one coaching candidate Tuesday before flying back home to Dallas.
Meanwhile, the Orioles haven’t released their spring training schedule, but I continue to piece it together from other schedules. Call it a hobby ... or a desperate cry for help.
Here’s what we’ve got so far:
March 5: Pirates at Orioles (Sarasota)
March 7: Braves at Orioles
March 10: Orioles at Phillies (Clearwater)
March 12: Orioles at Blue Jays (Dunedin)
March 14: Pirates at Orioles
March 18: Orioles at Braves (Orlando) and Yankees at Orioles (I’m assuming that’s split squad)
March 20: Phillies at Orioles
March 21: Blue Jays at Orioles
March 25: Orioles at Phillies
March 26: Orioles at Pirates (Brandenton)
March 28: Orioles at Blue Jays
March 29: Orioles at Yankees (Tampa)
March 31: Orioles at Pirates
Shameless plug alert: I’ll be co-hosting “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” again today with Amber Theoharis from 5:30-7 p.m. on MASN. Cal Ripken will call us from Japan.