Is Gary Allenson disappointed that he's not part of manager Buck Showalter's coaching staff?
"That's an understatement," he says.
Allenson was bypassed for the job of third base coach and catching instructor, losing out to former Pirates manager John Russell. He accepted the offer to return to Triple-A Norfolk as manager, assuring that he'll remain in the organization for one more season.
Allenson contacted new Pirates manager Clint Hurdle about the possibility of joining his staff, but nothing was available.
Back in the winter of 2003, Allenson took a job as a roving catching instructor for the Reds after being ignored in the Orioles' managerial search that led to Lee Mazzilli's hiring. He returned to the organization in 2006 as Bluefield's manager and settled at Norfolk the following season.
"I'll go through this year," he said. "I'm not getting any younger. I'm 55 years old. You could talk to any one of those guys (in the clubhouse), as I've said many times before. Talk to the guys who played for me. I didn't call up any of those guys and say, 'Call the front office and say you want me on the staff.' I don't think I should do that.
"It won't be easy to go into spring raining, but I've been in this game going on 34 years and I've always been a professional. I'll do my job. It won't always be easy, but I'll do it."
Allenson doesn't want to come across as angry. He understands that, in this economy, he's fortunate to have a job. And managing the Tides led to his inclusion on last year's staff after Juan Samuel replaced Dave Trembley. It's not a death sentence.
It's just not the majors.
"For me to go through this seven-week process, it's tough to handle," he said. "Obviously, I'm disappointed. My oldest boy is 24. He's in medical school. My middle son is 20 and the youngest is 16. They follow baseball and what's been going on with me. It's never easy. It's happened to me before where I felt like I should be on the staff and I'm not. It's disappointing. And I'm disappointed for them.
"I just have to move on and find out what I need to do to be on a big league staff."
Former Bowie manager Brad Komminsk will replace Richie Hebner as Norfolk's hitting coach, and Mike Griffin returns as pitching coach. As I wrote yesterday, the Orioles will add an extra coach to each affiliate.
Meanwhile, it looks like pitcher Jorge de la Rosa also has fallen off the free-agent board. He's nearing an agreement with the Rockies, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, that would pay $32-$33 million over three years.
The Orioles were interested, but they weren't that interested. Not even close.
They kicked the tires on reliever Kevin Gregg last winter, and he's back on the market again. Gregg remains a possibility to close if the Orioles don't re-sign Koji Uehara. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail will likely meet with his agent at the winter meetings, which begin next Monday in Orlando.
Yesterday, a sports-talk radio station in Phoenix was playing up the possibility of the Orioles trading for Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds. I'm told it was mostly speculation, but the buzz seems to be getting a bit louder on that front.