- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2005

The Washington Nationals filled their three vacant coaching positions yesterday with a trio of former Baltimore Orioles players. Manager Frank Robinson hired Don Buford as first-base coach, Dave Huppert as third-base coach and Jack Voigt as roving coach.

Buford, a teammate of Robinson’s in the late 1960s and a member of his coaching staffs in Baltimore and San Francisco, joins the Nationals after one season as manager of the Orioles’ short-season Class A affiliate in Aberdeen, Md. Baltimore reassigned Buford to that position after three years as director of minor league operations.

Huppert has spent precious little time in the major leagues — he appeared in 17 career games for Baltimore and Milwaukee — but he has an extensive minor league background. He has 18 years’ experience as a minor league manager, including the last two at Class AAA Edmonton.

Voigt spent the first four of his seven major league seasons with the Orioles (1992-95) and later managed in the Baltimore system. He served as the Atlanta Braves’ roving baserunning and bunting coach the last two years and will fill a variety of roles with the Nationals.

Buford, Huppert and Voigt join the four returning members of Robinson’s staff from Montreal: pitching coach Randy St. Claire, hitting coach Tom McCraw, bench coach Eddie Rodriguez and bullpen coach Bob Natal.

“These are hard-working, smart baseball men who I believe will work well with our young club and provide positive results,” Robinson said. “I’m also thrilled to welcome back the four returning members of the coaching staff, all of which have done a fantastic job.”

The Nationals also have hired a pair of former Cincinnati Reds for front-office positions: Jose Rijo as special assistant to interim general manager Jim Bowden and Jose Cardenal as special adviser to Bowden.

Washington also named Scott Lawrenson assistant athletic trainer.

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