Russell's work in Baltimore has been highly lauded, as he's helped catchers Nick Hundley and Caleb Joseph fill in admirably for All-Star Matt Wieters this season, and he's one of manager Buck Showalter's trusted confidants.
"I'm surprised that [Russell] hasn't gotten more play [for jobs]," Showalter said. "John's not that kind of guy. John's never working on his next job. John's as loyal as they come. And he loves it here. He loves the way he's treated and the say he has, but he's not trumpeting. ... And those are the best type of guys to hire. There's nobody more loyal to an organization, and John's not actively seeking this. ... It's, 'You know who I am, you know where I am, there's my body of work.' "
Russell was hired by the O's after he was dismissed as the Pirates' manager following the 2010 season. He went 186-299 in Pittsburgh and was let go following a 105-loss campaign. A former Major League catcher and outfielder, Russell would leave a huge hole in Baltimore should he leave. Showalter would have to add a coach with catching experience; O's Minor League instructor Donny Werner and Major League coach Einar Diaz are both former backstops.
"I talked to you all about the bullets people take, whether it be [former O's manager] Dave Trembley or [former GM] Andy [MacPhail] or whoever. Same way with Pittsburgh," Showalter said. "I've heard John talk about the conversation they had about going through the tough times and everything, but unfortunately, those guys don't get [to stay for] the end game a lot of times.
"But [the Orioles' organization has] gotten a lot more calls on our people. Because of what Dan [Duquette] and ownership has allowed us to do, we're able to hold onto them. When someone comes knocking for [Minor League coaches] R.J. [Ron Johnson] or Griff [Mike Griffin] or Brian Graham or Dave Anderson or [Jeff] Manto, which they have and are going to, if we can't put them in the big leagues, we can do some things. We've done some things to keep the good people. It's not just the good players you've got to keep. It's more about the whole system."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.