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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Mark Hendrickson (coach)( Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / February 16, 2011 )
Orioles manager Buck Showalter wanted Hendrickson to consider coaching in 2012, but with a baby at home and the yearning to keep playing, he didn't make the transition. Hendrickson has the perfect temperament to be a pitching coach. Called "Big Smooth" by his teammates, he never got too high or too low. In his final nine seasons as a big leaguer, he didn't once post a full season with an ERA under 4.00. But he always had a job, because he was a great athlete, a left-hander and never complained no matter the role. Several Orioles pitchers claim they learned more from him -- especially the mental side of the game -- than any other player.