Elia rounds out O's coaching staff

Former manager, 68, named bench coach

Baseball

November 08, 2005|By DAN CONNOLLY | DAN CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER

Hours after Lee Elia officially was named Orioles bench coach yesterday, he drove about 45 minutes to have dinner with his new boss.

Last night at manager Sam Perlozzo's Florida home, Elia, Perlozzo and new Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone ate steak and chewed the fat about a sport in which they have more than 100 years of combined experience.

"We're having chateaubriand, some salad, baked potatoes and baseball extraordinaire," Perlozzo said.

It was part friendly get-together, part introductory meeting for Elia and Mazzone and part celebration - since Perlozzo's 2006 coaching staff is complete.

"I wanted as good of people around me as I can get, and I'm just tickled to death with these guys," Perlozzo said. "I feel like everyone is watching my back and on the same page with the same goal, and that's winning."

Perlozzo added just two new pieces to the six-man staff that ended 2005. But only hitting coach Terry Crowley remains in a position he held all of last season.

Tom Trebelhorn, who had been the team's bench coach since Perlozzo was named interim manager in August, has moved back to third base.

Rick Dempsey, who went from first to third during the managerial change, has switched to bullpen coach, replacing Elrod Hendricks. Dave Cash, who was promoted from Triple-A Ottawa in August, will remain at first base.

Defensively, Trebelhorn will continue to instruct outfielders, Dempsey will help the catchers and Cash will be in charge of infielders.

Elia, 68, compiled a 238-300 record managing the Chicago Cubs (1982-1983) and Philadelphia Phillies (1987-1988). He has spent 22 seasons as a big league coach/manager, the past three as hitting coach under the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Lou Piniella.

Elia, who was Piniella's bench and hitting coach in Seattle (1993-1997) bonded with Perlozzo when they worked together for three seasons on the Mariners' staff.

Perlozzo said Elia was his first choice, but waited as Tampa Bay looked for a manager. Ultimately, though, Elia made his decision before the Devil Rays could make theirs.

"I wanted to be Sammy's bench coach; that's where I wanted to be," said Elia, a Philadelphia native who attended the University of Delaware. "When you've managed two major league ballclubs you realize the importance of a bench coach who you are compatible with."

At 54, Perlozzo is the staff's youngest member, but he doesn't see that as a negative.

"Most people will look at us and say age is against us," Perlozzo said. "But this is the best bunch of energetic guys you have ever seen. These are baseball guys, and that's what we want for our ballclub."

In other news, the Boston Red Sox might look to the Beltway corridor for a potential general manager replacement to Theo Epstein.

Jim Beattie, the Orioles' former executive vice president who is now a club consultant, will meet with Red Sox president Larry Lucchino on Friday.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to go to a place like that, especially being a New Englander," said Beattie, who grew up in Maine and graduated from Dartmouth College.

Jim Bowden, current GM of the ownerless Washington Nationals, also will interview for the job, according to a Red Sox spokesman.

The Red Sox are expected to talk to at least two other candidates, though names have not been released.

New Orioles vice president Jim Duquette has been rumored to be a candidate, but the Red Sox have not asked permission from the Orioles to interview him, club vice president Mike Flanagan said.

As a consultant, Beattie does not need the Orioles' permission to interview.

Note -- The Orioles' two-year experiment of 7:35 Friday night game times has ended. Friday night games will return to 7:05 in 2006.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.