Aberdeen manager `very hurt' by firing

Orioles notebook

Etchebarren: `I thought I'd quit as an Oriole'

October 25, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN REPORTER

The Orioles on Monday fired Single-A Aberdeen manager Andy Etchebarren, who had coached or managed in the organization for the past 15 seasons after a successful playing career with the club.

Etchebarren managed the IronBirds for three seasons, compiling a 102-124 record. Etchebarren, who has managed in the Orioles system at every level, is the fourth minor league coach or manager the Orioles have let go in the past couple of months.

Minor league pitching coordinator Doc Watson, roving infield and base-running instructor Tom Lawless and Double-A Bowie manager Bien Figueroa also were not retained.

"I'm very disappointed, very hurt," said Etchebarren, who played 11 1/2 of his 15 major league seasons with the Orioles and was a member of four pennant-winning teams. "I signed with the Orioles in 1961 ... and I thought I'd quit as an Oriole, but I guess not. I went to the organizational meetings and everything else and gave my reports. It came as a shock."

Asked whether he was given a reason for his dismissal, Etchebarren said: "Not really."

Orioles minor league director David Stockstill did not return a call last night seeking comment.

"I love baseball, I love the Orioles, I love the kids that I had in Aberdeen," Etchebarren said. "There's nothing I didn't enjoy about it. I just have to go forward. It's part of life. God opens and closes doors for you. I just wish he hadn't closed this one."

The hiring front

Oneri Fleita and Mike Radcliff, the vice presidents of personnel for the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins, respectively, were being considered for an executive position under Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.

However, promotions for both have all but taken them out of the running.

MacPhail said Monday that he hasn't begun the interview process and doesn't expect to make a hire any earlier than the general manager meetings, which are the first week in November.

Among the candidates are Larry Corrigan, an assistant to the GM in Minnesota; Bill Harford, a Cubs scout who also has served as director of player development and farm director in the organization; and former Colorado Rockies GM Bob Gebhard.

Walker backs Millar

Orioles reliever Jamie Walker said he feels people are just trying to "stir the pot" with the criticism of teammate Kevin Millar, who has been under fire for throwing out the first pitch Sunday before the Boston Red Sox's victory in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

"If it was different people, then you can question it, but Millar is a good teammate," Walker said. "He's a big baseball fan, he plays the game hard, he prepares himself. That's all you can ask for."

Around the horn

The Orioles have 10 days after the end of the World Series to decide whether to exercise the 2008 option for Kris Benson, but they likely won't take that long to inform the pitcher, who missed all of the 2007 season after shoulder surgery, that they won't be picking up the option. Benson will become a free agent. ... Former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles remains a candidate to become the team's first base coach.


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