Perlozzo says he'll have a coach soon

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Someone in organization will fill bench job

Miller quiet about next season

Orioles

August 06, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ARLINGTON, Texas - Handling twice the workload since replacing Lee Mazzilli as Orioles manager, Sam Perlozzo hopes to name a bench coach no later than Tuesday, when his club returns home to begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"I would hope that we could get something done by then," he said.

Perlozzo indicated that he'll bring up someone from the farm system, preferably with infield experience.

"That's kind of the way to go right now in a short period of time," he said. "It's good to go within your organization and get guys who are working hard down there for you, so they can come up here and get a chance."

Players seemed to be making a smooth adjustment to Perlozzo yesterday as they prepared for their game against the Texas Rangers.

"We just come here and play for whoever the manager is," center fielder Luis Matos said.

"[Sam] started out good, so I hope we keep doing it like that. He's a great guy, like Mazzilli was. It was just something where, going from first place to fourth place was kind of crazy, and they decided to make a move.

"We were struggling, but you can't point the finger at nobody. You just need to point it at yourself because everything was going wrong."

"Each one of us has blame," outfielder David Newhan said. "It's just unfortunate, but that's the business that we're in."

Newhan senses that Perlozzo will bring more energy to the dugout.

"I think Sammy's going to be a little more vocal and maybe a little more fiery," he said. "I know Maz was intense, but he tried to keep it to himself a lot. He didn't really want to step on the players' toes. He wanted to give us our room to play. But I think [Perlozzo is] going to be a little more fiery. And we're going to get to know him as a manger, now. He probably had to bite his tongue at times, being a bench coach. Now we're going to see the true him.

"I think it's going to be a good fit, and we're going to respond to him."

Said Perlozzo: "I'm a little more active and a little more vocal. That doesn't mean that's right or wrong."

Because Perlozzo has so much experience in the clubhouse, players don't believe they should require extra motivation to get ready for a game.

"I think the guys know how to prepare themselves," Newhan said. "You look around. Like Eric Byrnes was saying when he came over [in a trade], there were days in Colorado when he was the veteran over there. He comes here and there are guys with 18 years in and 15 years in. I don't think a lot of those guys need a kick in the butt. We're all professionals and need to go out and take care of ourselves and prepare ourselves to play."

Byrnes, traded twice this season, noted that Perlozzo seems "very upbeat, very positive."

"I look forward to playing for him," he said.

In a strange week for the Orioles, Byrnes will have his own stories to tell.

"I'm playing for my third team and my fourth manager this season," Byrnes said. "There hasn't been a whole lot that's been normal about this year."

Miller staying mum

Pitching coach Ray Miller remains noncommittal about returning next season if invited back.

Miller was close to Mazzilli and indicated in late June that he'd be less inclined to stay in the organization if the Orioles changed managers. But he also has a solid relationship with Perlozzo.

"It's not my decision right now, and there's too much turmoil. We'll wait and see what happens," Miller said.

"I don't think that's in the picture right now to even talk about that. A good friend of mine just lost his job, and a good friend of mine just got a job."

Miller spoke to Mazzilli by phone for about an hour Thursday morning.

"He'll be somewhere in baseball. He'll be a manager again," Miller said.

Tejada could DH

With Miguel Tejada's consecutive-games streak reaching 865 last night, the longest in the majors, Perlozzo might use him as the designated hitter this weekend to provide some rest.

"I think Miggy probably needs a day off and he can't get a day off," Perlozzo said. "He doesn't want a day off."

Past Orioles managers couldn't sit Cal Ripken while he pursued Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games streak. Perlozzo isn't quite in the same predicament with Tejada.

"I hope I'm here long enough to see him get to that," Perlozzo said. "I will gladly deal with that problem."

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