Lots of heat here in Baltimore, but none in the visitors’ dugout anymore as new manager Daren Brown is here to check in on former pupil Adam Jones, now the Orioles’ center fielder. Over on the other side, new O’s manager Buck Showalter, a veteran in dugouts with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers and now, Baltimore, says his old buddy Don Wakamatsu won’t have trouble finding a new job.
“I would be shocked if he did,” Showalter told reporters in his pre-game scrum. “There will be some people standing in line for Donny.”
Actually, I’ve spoken to a few people here at the ballpark, and on Baltimore radio this afternoon, who would be shocked themselves if Wakamatsu isn’t Showalter’s new bench coach next season. They are talking about it here like it’s a done deal. I’m hearing people saying that Wakamatsu would be bench coach and tutor young catcher Matt Wieters while Brian Butterfield would be brought in from Toronto to school the infielders and be a base coach.
Talk about your all-star staff, as Butterfield is one of the game’s best infield coaches, having gotten Derek Jeter ready for the majors years ago. Orlando Hudson as well.
Back to Wakamatsu, Showalter said he’s pretty sure Wakamatsu has a handle on what happened to him in Seattle. Understand, please, that the two men have had recent conversations.
“I think Don understands managing and coaching,” Showalter said. “It’s not always a reflection on him.”
Showalter expanded on his thinking:
“Of course, I saw Don when they were in Texas and he understood the job description,” he said. “I think we all do. We understand how shelf-life works and try not to take it personally. Sometimes that’s the only thing some people can do. I certainly have some personal thoughts on it, but in a lot of cases, it’s a badge of honor.
“Where a guy like Don’s concerned, I know my dealings with him when we hired him in Arizona and brought him to Texas. It’s just a stepping stone. It was very obvious early on what a good baseball man he is and will be, and still is.”