ATLANTA -- Under ideal circumstances, the Orioles most likely would have preferred to wait until after the World Series to announce the completion of their coaching staff.
But what was baseball's worst kept secret, has now become official. Greg Biagini, Dick Bosman and Davey Lopes were named today to the coaching staff in an announcement made by general manager Roland Hemond.
Ever since Tom McCraw, who was originally asked to return as hitting coach, accepted the same job with the New York Mets, the makeup of manager John Oates' staff has been a foregone conclusion. Oates indicated he would be comfortable with five rather than six coaches.
Oates pursued Lopes as soon as his former Dodger teammate was released by Texas because of a conflict with manager Bobby Valentine. Lopes will coach first base and also work with the outfielders, but the main reason Oates wanted him was to work with the Orioles' baserunners.
"It's something we have to spend more time on next spring," said Oates.
Biagini, who has managed at Rochester since Oates left after the 1988 season, will replace McCraw as the hitting coach. He had been expected to be named to the staff under any circumstances.
Bosman will replace Al Jackson as pitching coach, the position he held at Rochester for the last two years. Before that he was the Orioles' roving minor-league pitching instructor.
The promotions will have a domino effect on the Orioles' minor-league system. After one year at Single-A Frederick and two years at Double-A Hagerstown, Jerry Narron is expected to move up to replace Biagini as manager at Rochester.
Joel Youngblood, who served as a roving hitting instructor in his first year with the Orioles last season, is a candidate to manage at either Frederick or Hagerstown.
Wally Moon, the Frederick manager for the last two years, is a candidate to replace Youngblood as the minor-league hitting instructor.