Pitching coach Dave Wallace to retire
Club to ‘look from within first’ for replacement; man charged in Toronto can toss
Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace is “going to retire from active major league coaching,” manager Buck Showalter said at the team’s end-of-season news conference Thursday.
“He’s at a point in his life where he needs to be home a little more, but he’s going to still be active in some form or fashion the next year,” Showalter said. “Hopefully it’s with us. We’ll see how that works out. He’s got some things he’s got to stay on top of at home, like all of us do. But he’s going to retire from [being] an active major league coach.”
As a result, Showalter said the team will begin a search soon. While he didn’t discount the candidacy of bullpen coach Dom Chiti, Showalter said he does not foresee any changes with the other five coaches.
“We’re going to look at all the candidates and, as always, we try to look inside first,” Showalter said. “We’ve got some good, capable people in our organization, but you’re always trying to place them in the capacity that best fits what their skills are. We’ll take a look at it. Dom has done a lot of different jobs in baseball, from farm director to scouting director to assistant GM to major league coach. Dom, he’s a soldier.
“I do want to stress, I and we are going to look from within first. Sometimes, you don’t want to rob from Peter to pay Paul, though. Dom is obviously a real bird in the hand down in the bullpen. It’s been a big reason, he and [Wallace] both, that our bullpen has been really consistent and strong, and should be one of our strengths next year. I’m going to be careful and we’re going to be careful not to tinker with that too much.”
However, Showalter said Wallace’s announcing his departure so soon “would give us the benefit of as much time possible to look around and have some people maybe voice they’re interested.”
Wallace was hired after the 2013 season and oversaw two trips to the playoffs in his three seasons with the Orioles. This year, the team ranked 10th in the American League with a 4.22 ERA, and in his three-year tenure with the Orioles, the team ranked sixth in the AL with a 3.90 ERA.
Wallace began his major league coaching career in 1995 as pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, andserved in the samerole Orioles manager Buck Showalter, left, and executive vice president Dan Duquette speak at an end-of-the-season news conference at Camden Yards. Retiring pitching coach Dave Wallace, left, with starter Yovani Gallardo, will stay active in baseball in some capacity. for the New York Mets (1999-2000), Boston Red Sox (2003-2006) and Houston Astros (2007). He was in front office and player development capacities with the Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves. Man charged in beer can toss: The Orioles top brass said Thursday that they appreciated the Toronto Blue Jays’ swift and stern response to the incident in Tuesday night’s wild-card game at Rogers Centre in which a fan threw a can at left fielder Hyun Soo Kim as he was camped under a fly ball.
“The Blue Jays, to their credit, reached out to us and [team president and CEO] Mark Shapiro apologized to the Orioles organization and of course, Kim and [center fielder] Adam [ Jones],” executive vice president Dan Duquette said Thursday at the news conference. “They told us they’re making some adjustments to address that so it doesn’t happen in the future. One thing you can do is you can pour the beer in the cup so the consumer is no longer holding the can, and you can increase your security presence around areas. So we’ve been assured that that’s what’s going to happen in Toronto. We don’t go back there anymore this year, but I expect there will be a lot of interest in our games next year.”
The Blue Jays fan suspected of hurling the can at Kim turned himself in Thursday night, Toronto police said. Kenneth Pagan, 41, was charged with mischief and could be incarcerated for up to two years if convicted, said David Hopkinson, a spokesman for Toronto police.
Pagan, a resident of Hamilton, Ontario, turned himself in to police at 7:15 p.m., Hopkinson said. Showalter on Britton decision: Showalter, in his first local comments since the team’s 5-2 wild-card loss to the Blue Jays and the criticism of his decision not to use closer Zach Britton, said he hasn’t heard much of the negativity about that move but is more concerned about it overshadowing what he thought was a good season for the team.
“I understand the way it works, and I’ll wear it,” Showalter said. “There’s been a lot of really nice things said to me, and about me, since I’ve been here, and it’s been a great place. It’ll continue to be. It’s just unfortunate for our players and our fans. I know they care a lot, obviously, and they’re very passionate about us being successful.”
The critiques have come from all circles of the baseball world, with local and national figures questioning Showalter going to and sticking with Ubaldo Jimenez in the 11th inning Tuesday in Toronto. To that point, he had used relievers Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and Brian Duensing to extend the game and keep it tied from the fifth inning to the 11th. But he held back Britton, the league’s best closer, for a save situation that never came.
Showalter’s son, Nathan, and daughter, Allie, told him of some of the commentary about the decision, but he said he didn’t see much himself.
“I understand where the emotion comes from, and I would be the same way if I was someone who cared a lot about the Orioles,” Showalter said. “No one cares more about them than I do, and our players and our coaches. I don’t know if ‘worry’ is the word, but you have anxiety about howit reflects on your city, your organization and your players, and you don’t want anything to detract from the great things they accomplished this year.” Around the horn: Duquette said the team has not yet broached discussions for a contract extension with second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who enters arbitration this year. … Showalter said first baseman Chris Davis’ hand injury limited him for most of the season but won’t require surgery. … Showalter said Jones won’t be the leadoff hitter again next year. He commended Jones for taking to it so well.