Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Orioles Quick Hits; Shelby, A New Hire, Ripken & Other Stuff...

The World Series is over, and this week, there have been quite a few changes ushered within the Orioles' organization.

The first move that was made happened to be in terms of coaching staff as the team hired old school Oriole and part of the '83 Championship squad, "T-Bone" John Shelby.

Acoording to the Baltimore Sun: Shelby, who was the Pirates' first base coach the past two seasons after occupying that role for eight seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, becomes the third new addition to the Orioles' coaching staff since Opening Day 2007. There will be a fourth when Trembley decides on a bench coach to replace Tom Trebelhorn.

"I called quite a few clubs. I had no idea the Orioles had a vacancy at first base," said Shelby, who will replace Sam Mejias and also work with the club's outfielders. "Dave called me and made me feel like I was a part of the staff from the first time I talked to him. He had me so convinced that I was an Oriole that I wound up turning down a couple of jobs before I got this one. We're ready to go to work. This is exciting."

Trembley, intent on calling upon the organization's winning past, talked to several former Orioles about joining his staff, including B.J. Surhoff and Mike Bordick, and was pleased when Shelby became available. Shelby, 49, who played parts of 11 seasons in the Orioles organization and was on the 1983 World Series-winning team, was encouraged to seek other job opportunities after Pirates manager Jim Tracy was fired earlier this month.

There's more news on the Shelby hire from the Baltimore Examiner, Oriole Magic & Orioles.com.

Also, the organization added a new face, Lee MacPhail, who will be named the assistant to president of baseball operations. Although some will cry 'nepotism', at this point, nothing else has worked, so might as well give him a shot.

More info (Baltimore Sun): Lee MacPhail IV, a 38-year-old who was born and raised in Baltimore, spent last season as a pro scout with the Minnesota Twins. MacPhail worked with the Orioles from 1986 to 1995, starting as a public relations intern before ultimately serving as Orioles assistant director of player development and scouting under Doug Melvin.

He followed Melvin to the Texas Rangers in 1996 when he was an assistant to the GM. He also spent two seasons as the Cleveland Indians scouting director. After scouting for the Twins for three years, MacPhail spent five years in scouting and administrative capacities for the Montreal/Washington franchise before returning to Minnesota.

Also, the Orioles hired Brian Graham as a special assignment coach for the minor leagues.

It looks like the culture change is taking shape, and at this point change is good. It's been ten years of losing and we might as well turn a new leaf and see what comes of it.

As well, there will be more hires and more changes to come, including hiring a top level guy who'll have a huge role in determining talent and personnel decisions. When the calendar page flips into November, there should be moves on the roster side, including what to do with Tejada and other players.

Roch Kubatko has more on the developments along with some opinions off the off-season in his blog, Roch Around the Clock...


In other Oriole related news, Cal Ripken has started his duties as a Department of State special envoy, and Rick Maese has an article on the Sun's website on Cal Ripken's experiences in China and how he is interacting with the kids.

Spencer Fordin has a mailbag out this week on the Orioles MLB site and the topics range from Kevin Millar's stunt two weekends ago, to the closer situation, Ramon Hernandez and Danys Baez.

I'll have thoughts from the season in upcoming posts on the blog. Have a good evening, everyone...

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