O's tenure ends as Samuel joins Phillies
Former interim skipper hired as Philadelphia's third-base coach
BALTIMORE -- Former Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel will not be a part of the organization in 2011. In a move that had grown from speculation to near-certainty, the Philadelphia Phillies unveiled Samuel as their new third-base coach on Thursday afternoon, a move that shifts former O's manager Sam Perlozzo to first-base duties for Philadelphia starting in Spring Training 2011.
"Things developed quickly," Samuel said of the situation in Philadelphia. "It was a decision I had to do, and my heart had a lot to do with it. And I think the right decision was made.
"It was very unfortunate things didn't work out with Baltimore, but we just couldn't finish up the contract situation with Baltimore. And to be fair with the Orioles and everybody and Buck Showalter, I told them, 'Time is crucial here for everybody,' and if they're just going to continue to drag and we're not going to get things done, we're just going to have to go our separate ways and give the Orioles time to find somebody if I didn't come back."
Samuel's name was not immediately in the mix for O's manager Buck Showalter's staff, but after Toronto third-base coach Brian Butterfield opted to remain with the Blue Jays, Showalter reached out to Samuel, who gave the new O's skipper his word that he would return. But the two sides couldn't agree on terms, and on Monday, MLB.com -- citing several sources close to the situation -- reported that Samuel's future would likely be in Philadelphia.
"[We are] grateful to Juan for the work he has done for us in a wide variety of roles this past season," president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said in an e-mail to MLB.com. "He is a true professional and class individual."
Originally signed as a undrafted free agent by Philadelphia in 1980, Samuel was part of the big league club from 1983-89 and was a National League All-Star three times during his 16-year career. Samuel, who became the first Latin-born manager in Orioles history when he temporarily took over for Dave Trembley, was enshrined in the Phillies' Wall of Fame in 2008.
The opportunity for Samuel to join his former team came when first-base coach Davey Lopes announced his departure from the Phillies at season's end. Given Samuel's expertise in outfield and baserunning instruction -- which is what Lopes handled -- Samuel's name quickly became a target.
"I feel fortunate that we were able to add someone of Juan's stature to our coaching staff," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in the club's official press release. "He was a tremendous Major League player and a big part of Phillies history, and I'm looking forward to him passing on his knowledge of the game to our players. He's a great addition to our organization."
Samuel isn't the only former O's skipper moving on to a new organization. The Atlanta Braves named Trembley their Minor League field coordinator on Thursday.
Trembley became the Orioles' manager during the 2007 season and maintained that role until he was dismissed this past June. During his four seasons as Baltimore's skipper, Trembley's clubs combined to go 187-283.
Highly regarded during his 20 seasons as a Minor League manager, Trembley takes over for Tommy Shields, who had spent each of the past four seasons as the Braves' Minor League field coordinator.
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.