BALTIMORE -- Just two days after saying he would probably wait until after the World Series to make the final judgment, manager Buck Showalter has taken a "the sooner, the better" approach regarding the fate of the Orioles' current six-man staff.
"That's not something that I'm going to string along for very long, in fairness to everybody concerned," Showalter said prior to Friday's doubleheader. "We've had a couple conversations with them. I'm going to try to speed up the process a little before they all leave, so they know what's going on.
"Instead of waiting 'til after the World Series or something like that, I'd like to stay away from that timeframe. I don't think it's fair to them or their families, whether it's positive or negative."
Showalter has said previously that's it's possible he retains the entire coaching staff -- inherited from ex-manager Dave Trembley and interim Juan Samuel -- although that seems like a long shot. It's more plausible that Showalter will fill at least a portion of next season's staff with his own coaches, although he has understandably shied away from speculating.
"I'm focused on the six coaches here and what they could potentially bring. I'm not out there coveting other [staffs]," he said. "There are a lot of people capable of doing the job I'm doing as good, if not better, and they understand how competitive this business is. But I can tell you this, I can see why [the current coaches'] work was wanted and coveted -- and why they are well thought of."
Showalter will meet with the current coaches individually, hopefully on Saturday, to let them know which direction he's heading. So whether they return or not, each coach knows where he stands and if he needs to start looking around the League.
Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley has been with the organization for two stints totaling 16 years, including the last 12 consecutive seasons. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz, first-base coach John "T-Bone" Shelby and bullpen coach Alan Dunn are finishing their third full seasons, while bench coach Jeff Datz is in his first year in Baltimore. Third-base coach Gary Allenson started the season as Triple-A Norfolk's manager, but was promoted to the big league club after Juan Samuel moved from third base to interim manager in early June.
Although president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has the final say on coaches, he has said previously that Showalter will have the flexibility to do what he wants in terms of bringing people in from outside the organization. Simply put, Showalter can select whomever he wants to serve on his staff, and MacPhail retains "veto power".
Dismissed Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, Rangers special assistant Mark Connor and Blue Jays third-base coach Brian Butterfield are all close friends of Showalter's and rumored to be in the mix. Showalter has also made it clear that he wants to retain the old "Oriole Way," making it plausible that he brings former players back into the organization in some official capacity.
Roberts remains sidelined vs. Tigers
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts was not available for either of Friday's doubleheader games against the Tigers, as Orioles manager Buck Showalter reported that the second baseman is still dealing with headache-type symptoms.
"[He's] about the same, not the improvement we had hoped to see," Showalter said of Roberts, who was a late scratch from Tuesday's game against the Rays. "[It's] a day-to-day thing with him."
Roberts saw a doctor on Thursday and did some running on the field prior to the Orioles' batting practice, with head athletic trainer Richard Bancells overseeing his exertion.
"It didn't go well enough for us to feel like he was a player in the first game," Showalter said. "I just don't see that improving enough, all of a sudden, between games to where he plays the second one. We'll see where he is [for Saturday]."
When asked if the headaches stemmed from a particular incident, Showalter said he'd prefer to have Roberts talk more about the specifics. Roberts was not available to the media prior to Friday's game.
Fan Appreciation Weekend kicks off
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles kicked off Fan Appreciation Weekend with Friday's doubleheader, and will host a slew of special events over the four-game set against the Detroit Tigers. Here are the events the club has planned throughout the weekend to give back to its fans:
Each game of the series, nine fans will be randomly selected to take the field and stand with an Orioles player during the national anthem, with Junior Orioles Dugout Club members being selected for this event on Sunday.
The club will also choose a fan before the bottom of the fifth inning as the "Fan of the Game" during each game of the series. The winning fan will receive an "Ultimate Orioles Prize Pack," featuring a pair of 2011 Opening Day tickets, an Orioles Batting Practice visit, Orioles autographed memorabilia and Orioles giveaway items.
The Orioles will hold a silent auction during each game of the series on the main concourse at Gate D, beginning when gates to the park open. The auction will last until 8:30 p.m. ET Friday-Saturday and until 3 p.m. on Sunday. It will feature sports memorabilia, collectibles and unique experience packages. The auction will benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation.
During each game of the series, the Orioles will have locations set up where fans can make a donation to the Orioles Charitable Foundation and receive a grab bag in exchange. The locations will be at the Eutaw Street Sales Tent, Community Booth, Club Level Concierge and Upper Deck Fan Assistance. Inside each grab bag, fans will have the opportunity to win either a baseball autographed by a current or former Orioles player, or the opportunity to go on the field following Sunday's game to receive a "shirt off the back" of a current Orioles player. The "Shirts Off Our Backs" ceremony will immediately follow the 1:35 p.m. game on Sunday, when each winner will be presented with a game-worn and autographed jersey of an Orioles player.
Jason Berken (right shoulder inflammation) visited the Orioles' team physician on Friday and was in the clubhouse visiting with teammates prior to the O's doubleheader. Berken, who was shut down for the season, has been resting at his home in Georgia and will start a rehab program this offseason, with the goal being to return for Spring Training. ... Manager Buck Showalter said the team will discuss the roles of converted starters like Jim Johnson and David Hernandez, noting that it's "an advantage" to have flexibility regarding how they can be used. Showalter also said the role of someone like Hernandez, who started the season in the O's rotation, will also depend on the team's offseason acquisitions. ... Chris Tillman started the first game of Friday's doubleheader, in part, because Showalter didn't want the young right-hander just waiting around. He felt Jeremy Guthrie was better equipped to do that.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.