Which recent Orioles are the managers and coaches of the future?
With Jason Giambi having interviewed for the Colorado Rockies' managerial job (which went to Walt Weiss) and Mike Redmond being named the Miami Marlins' manager on Nov. 1, it seemed appropriate to look at other recent players who could find themselves back on a big league bench in the future.
Consider this the Orioles version of "Who's Next?" for careers in coaching, managing or in the front office.
This list certainly isn't complete. Surely, there are others who have the desire and ability to be a coach, manager or front office executive if given the opportunity. But here are 16 former Orioles who come to mind -- plus six more who were with the team this season. The only requirement is that they played for the Orioles from 2001 to 2012, while I covered the team.
I did not include three former players I covered that are currently working for the Orioles: Alan Mills (minor league coach), Calvin Maduro (scout) and Brady Anderson (special assistant to the GM). It seems unfair to comment on them as they make their way through the organization, but all three are highly thought of by the club's brass.
The funny thing is Anderson wouldn't have made this list three years ago -- and not because he wasn¿t qualified. He was one of the more analytical and intelligent ballplayers I've ever covered. It's just that he had so many other things that interested him that I didn't see him focusing on baseball as a vocation. And he now may be the brightest star of all going forward.
That's the same mindset I had with some others that I left off this list. There are some guys who I just don¿t envision putting in the necessary time to get to the majors as a coach or manager -- even though they could do it. They just have other aspirations which don't involve minor league bus rides or 16-hour coaching days.
So here's my list in alphabetical order with the potential job in parentheses (and the 2012 Orioles at the end).
-- Dan Connolly
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Gregg Zaun (manager)( Doug Kapustin, Baltimore Sun / February 23, 2009 )
Like his uncle Rick Dempsey, Zaun's ability to manage a game from behind the plate kept him in baseball for years. And like his uncle, his penchant for speaking his mind has led him to a career in broadcasting. Zaun is a studio analyst for Toronto Blue Jays games. And, like his uncle, he may never get a chance to manage a big league team, partially because he's never been shy with his opinions. But Zaun knows the game, he loved analyzing the sport's minutiae as a player and he is a good communicator. His managerial press conferences would be a hoot.