Ferraro, Elia front-runners for O's coaching job

November 13, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Mike Ferraro and Lee Elia, both former major-league managers and third-base coaches, apparently have emerged as the finalists to fill the vacancy on the Orioles' staff.

Manager Johnny Oates spent yesterday conducting interviews in Tampa, Fla., and confirmed that he has narrowed his list of candidates to two. "I'm down to two, but all I will say right now is that I'd be happy with either one," said Oates. "Both have coached third base on championship teams."

Oates acknowledged a report that Elia, who lives in the Tampa area, was one of the two he interviewed. Asked if Ferraro, who lives on the East coast of Florida, was the other, Oates wouldn't comment.

Ferraro, 48, was third-base coach for the late Dick Howser when Oates played his last full season in the big leagues with the New York Yankees in 1980. Oates has often expressed his admiration for Howser, who lost his job because he refused an order from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to fire Ferraro.

That happened after the Yankees lost to the Kansas City Royals in the 1980 American League playoffs, and Steinbrenner laid much of the blame on Ferraro. Howser refused to fire his third-base coach, and both ultimately left the Yankees.

Ferraro, who managed the Cleveland Indians in 1983, was reunited with his Howser in Kansas City. He served as interim manager the second half of 1986 after Howser had been found to have a brain tumor.

Elia, 55, had short and sometimes stormy reigns as manager of the Cubs (1982-83) and Phillies (1987-88). He was the Phillies' third-base coach when they won the World Series in 1980.

Last season, Elia managed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, the Phillies' Triple-A team, but he rejected an offer to return in '93.

Ferraro worked last year in the San Francisco Giants' system.

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