Orioles miss first high-impact free agent, but finalize coaching staff with Randolph

November 23, 2010 | Ryan Chell

The Orioles may have lost out on an opportunity to sign their first high-impact free agent of the Buck Showalter era Tuesday in catcher Victor Martinez, but  the team has more than enough time to fill gaping holes in the team’s roster as free agency is only starting.

However, the Orioles did make a move finalizing Buck Showalter’s coaching staff, as the team announced Tuesday that they have signed former Mets manager Willie Randolph as the team’s bench coach, replacing Jeff Datz.

Willie Randolph

Randolph, 56, was most recently the manager for New York from 2005-2008, where he was relieved mid-season and replaced by Jerry Manuel. He also spent 11 seasons on the Yankees coaching staff.

Randolph’s best season came in 2007 when he managed the Mets to a 97-65 record, tied for best in the majors and an NL-best. Unfortunately, his team lost to the eventual World Series-winning St. Louis Cardinals.

Randolph then finished second in the NL West the following year but missed the playoffs with a 88-74 record.

Randolph was at the helm for one of the worst collapses in major league baseball history as his Mets at one point had a seven-game lead with a little more than two weeks to play, and they collapsed allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to take the division away from them.

Randolph, who spent 11 seasons as a Yankees bench and base coach, was once  considered one of the top managerial candidates on the market, as he interviewed for several manager positions before taking the Mets job for the 2005 season.

His managerial record stands at a modest 302-253, and is 6-4 in the playoffs. As a player, he was a 6x All-Star second baseman and has six championships to his credit as a player and coach.

Randolph had been the bench coach for Ken Macha’s Milwaukee Brewers the last two years.

He now is another veteran presence on Showalter’s staff-which now includes two former MLB-managers in Randolph and third base coach John Russell-the previous manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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