ATLANTA -- The Baltimore Orioles are expected to announce today that they have filled the three vacancies on the 1992 coaching staff.
Club sources said yesterday that the team will add former Texas Rangers coach Davey Lopes, Rochester Red Wings manager Greg Biagini and Class AAA pitching coach Dick Bosman to a staff that includes third-base coach Cal Ripken Sr. and bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks.
General manager Roland Hemond would neither confirm nor deny the reports, but he seemed to indicate that only a few details stood in the way of an official announcement.
"You could speculate along those lines," Hemond said. "I don't envision a major stumbling block. You have to talk to individuals, make sure everyone understands their duties. It's not always easy to consummate a deal."
Lopes, who will be the club's first-base coach, has been at the top of the Orioles' candidate list since he was fired by the Rangers a few weeks ago, but the negotiations stalled temporarily over the issue of which coaches would be eligible for major-league licensing royalties. That problem solved itself when hitting coach Tom McCraw accepted a coaching job with the New York Mets.
The Orioles were looking for someone with a variety of skills to work with the youth-oriented club. Lopes also will serve as outfield coach and base-running instructor. Manager John Oates has been saying for months that base-running and base-stealing techniques should be a high priority next spring. He brought up Lopes' name even before the two-time National League stolen base champion became available.
Biagini will be the new hitting coach, though he won't be new to a lot of the players on the Orioles roster. He has worked with many of the team's best young hitters -- Leo Gomez and Chito Martinez, among others -- and club officials have been happy with the results.
Biagini has managed in the Orioles organization for nine years. He started out with rookie league Bluefield and worked his way up through the farm system to manage the Class AAA Red Wings for the past three seasons, compiling a 237-197 record and winning the International League championship in 1990.
Bosman, a former major-league pitcher with the Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Oakland Athletics, joined the Orioles organization as a roving pitching instructor in 1988 and was promoted to Class AAA pitching coach the following season. He helped pitching prospects Ben McDonald and Mike Mussina make the quick jump to the major-league level, and now will have the opportunity to work with them again as major-league pitching coach.
The two incumbent coaches, Ripken and Hendricks, will retain the jobs they performed for Oates and former manager Frank Robinson.