Orioles allow coaches to take break at home

August 17, 1994|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Writer

The Orioles have told their coaches that they can return home and take a few days off while they wait to see whether baseball's labor dispute will be settled in time to resume the season.

"They don't have to stay in the area," general manager Roland Hemond said. "They may be able to see some clubs where they are located, but we'll give them some time off. They can use the break."

Manager Johnny Oates already had returned to his home in Colonial Heights, Va., and will stay there until early next week, when he plans to visit the Orioles' Rookie League team in Bluefield, W. Va.

Batting coach Greg Biagini and third base coach Jerry Narron live in North Carolina, but they could hook up with the Single-A Frederick Keys, who venture south soon.

Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks lives in the Baltimore area, so he figures to spend some time observing the Keys and the Double-A Bowie Baysox.

Don Buford lives in Southern California and first base coach Davey Lopes in Providence, R.I.

The club could have assigned all to special instructor roles within the farm system, but the lateness of the minor-league season made that impractical and unnecessary.

"There really isn't that much to do at this point," Hemond said. "This is not so much a time of instruction as it was earlier in the year."

Oates said he still thinks it is important to visit the minor-league clubs, especially those at the lower end of the system.

"I don't think that the guys at Rochester really care if I show up around there," he said, "but if I'm a guy who is at the rookie-ball level or the Class-A level, I think it would mean a lot to me if the manager of the major-league club came down to see me. It's a chance to put the names with the faces."

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