ST. PETERSBURG -- While Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he would "be shocked" if there is any official decision concerning next season's coaching staff before the World Series concludes, Showalter won't have the current coaching staff sitting around pondering their future for four weeks.
Sometime this weekend -- over the course of a four-game season finale set against the Tigers -- Showalter will sit down with each member of the O's coaching staff to let them know where things stand and what direction he's leaning.
"[I want to] give them a heads up about what our thinking is, what the time frame is going to be," said Showalter, who added that leaving the current staff intact is still a possibility. "I wouldn't dare let [them] leave here without some idea."
Showalter had high praise for a group that includes pitching coach Rick Kranitz, hitting coach Terry Crowley, bench coach Jeff Datz, third-base coach Gary Allenson, first-base coach John Shelby and bullpen coach Alan Dunn, for their hard work and professionalism in a season in which they were faced with three different managers. The new O's skipper -- announced at a news conference on Aug. 2 and signed through 2013 -- Showalter said he will take all factors of the season into account when he makes his decision. He doesn't want it to be a case where certain members of the staff are penalized for not having a previous relationship with him.
"Hopefully in the next month of October, we will have a clearer idea of what we're working with and see what the fit would be with the needs of our players," Showalter said. "But I can certainly see why they were hiring [these coaches] and why they were thought well of. And they are thought well of."
The Orioles' late-season surge, which includes a 30-22 mark since Showalter arrived, also figures to lend credence toward the current staff, who -- with the exception of Allenson, who was promoted with Dave Trembley's dismissal -- all served under Trembley and interim skipper Juan Samuel.