The biggest news out of Birdland today is that former interim manager and third base coach, Juan Samuel, will not be returning to the Orioles.
Today, he took a job as third base coach of the Philadelphia Phillies. From various reports, it looked to be that Samuel was set to come back to Baltimore; however, both sides could not agree on compensation and a contract. Thus, Samuel moved on.
He seemed to be highly regarded with the team and throughout baseball. I’m sure he’ll help a Philadelphia team already stacked with a ton of talent.
It seems that there will be more changes and additions with the Orioles’ staff, so we’ll wait and see what happens.
Now, let’s see who – if anyone of consequence – sign this winter with the Orioles. Right now, the team still needs to get a big bat or two, find a solid corner infielders, a veteran starter — if not two, sign a shortstop and get some bullpen help. Seriously, as much young talent the Orioles have, they will not be the San Francisco Giants of 2010 next season.
The Giants’ World Series title was an a complete aberration, and the Orioles need to keep building from the ground up, while improving their lineup.
Also, in addition to the changes at Oriole Park at Camden Yards this offseason, the team has a new contract with another concession vendor. This week, the team announced, that they have come to an agreement with Delaware North Corp. of Buffalo, N.Y. to serve as the ballpark’s exclusive concessionaire. That means Aramark – the long time vendor at Camden Yards is out the door.
Not sure what the new change will bring in terms of food, drink and service options, but let’s hope it’s for the best.
Finally, Orioles’ pitcher Rick Vanden Hurk is doing his part to increase baseball’s profile in his home country of the Netherlands – and Europe.
He along with Oriole players Jeremy Guthrie and Adam Jones, plus Brady Anderson along with John Baker (Marlins) and Greg Halman (Seattle Mariners) are embarking on tour the country introducing baseball to kids in various camps and also doing some charity work.
He’s also blogging about his experiences as well…