TORONTO (AP) — Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Mark Connor resigned for personal reasons Tuesday and was replaced by bullpen coach Rick Adair.
Connor, 61, was in his first season as the Orioles’ pitching coach. He spent the previous two years as a special assistant with the Texas Rangers.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said his longtime friend had been thinking about making such a move for some time.
“I don’t think people realize the intensity and the toll that these jobs take,” Showalter said. “Especially guys that care like he does. He just didn’t feel like he was able to provide what was needed.”
The Orioles were 30-33 and last in the AL East going into Tuesday night’s game at Toronto.
Longtime Orioles player and coach Terry Crowley will serve as the interim bullpen coach. He had been the organization’s hitting instructor and an evaluator.
Adair came to the Orioles this season after working the last two years as Seattle’s pitching coach. The 53-year-old said he shares many similar thoughts about pitching with his predecessor.
“I think any time that there’s a change, there are certain adjustments that are made,” Adair said. “Obviously Goose (Connor) is more experienced than I am and if I can be half of what he has been, I’ll be OK.”
Orioles pitchers said the sudden change took them by surprise.
“He’ll be missed,” starter Jeremy Guthrie said. “It’s too bad our time was so short for each one of us because we were learning a lot from him.”
Guthrie said he did not expect the move would cause any ripples with Baltimore’s staff.
“I think it will be relatively seamless,” Guthrie said. “They’ve worked together really well over the last four months.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)