Rick Adair has left the team on a personal leave of absence, as reported by MLB.com. The timing of this could not be worse, because the conspiracy theorists will be out in full force.

  • Is Adair being fired because of Jim Johnson?
  • Has the starters’ inability to get deep into games cost Adair his job?
  • Was Adair on the grassy knoll?

Do yourselves a favor, Birdland, put aside your tin-foil hats, and calm down.

Rick Adair - Orioles pitching coachRick Adair is taking time off from the team for personal reasons.If it turns out that there’s something serious going on in his personal life, you are going to feel like a jerk if you start spouting your mouth off now, without any information. Remember, the last time that Orioles parted with a pitching coach, Mark Connor resigned — there was no “personal leave” to use as precedent. If the team had an issue with Adair, the situation would be handled differently. Here at Bird’s Eye View, we hope all is well with the Adair family, and wish him a speedy return to the game.

That being said, there are real issues with the pitching staff. The starters aren’t getting deep, and the bullpen is faltering. Overworked or ineffective, the results are the same. The bleeding has got to stop, if the team is going to stay in contention. Laser-like focus has been placed on Jim Johnson, who cost the team three games in a crucial stretch in the season. As a long-time Jim Johnson defender, I will say that something needs to change. He needs to be used in a different role (for now) – both to get him right, and to keep from costing the Orioles wins.

In the meantime (and the time frame has not yet been determined), bullpen coach Bill Castro will take over as pitching coach, and Scott McGregor will join the team as bullpen coach. McGregor has filled a variety of roles in the organization, including serving as interim bullpen coach when Adair moved from the bullpen to his current role.

Take deep breaths, Baltimore. This might not be the time for wild speculation. And really, the pitching coach isn’t the big news right now.

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