The Orioles still have an opening left on the 1998 coaching staff, but the delay in naming Latin American instructor/scout Carlos Bernhardt looks to be administrative.
Manager Ray Miller said yesterday that he still wants Bernhardt, the club's Dominican Republic senior scouting supervisor, to round out his six-man coaching staff, but accommodations must be made to make him eligible for the Major League Baseball Players Association pension and benefits package.
The players union covers the manager and four coaches under its pension plan, so two coaches have to work without union pension benefits. Since new coach Eddie Murray and pitching coach Mike Flanagan are fully vested by virtue of their lengthy playing careers, they would appear to be the most logical choices to opt out, but the situation is complicated enough that the hiring has been in limbo for a couple of weeks. Apparently, there are insurance premiums that the club would have to assume to assure that the coaches not covered by the plan would not be disadvantaged.
Bernhardt could get a position that does not include those benefits, but one of the reasons Miller is eager to hire him is to reward his loyalty with the long-term security that comes with the union package. Bernhardt has been with the Orioles for 14 seasons.
"It's something I want to do," Miller said. "I hope we can get it done in the next week or so."
Pub Date: 11/25/97