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Buck Showalter is not going to be fazed* by the challenges of managing the Orioles

Feb 15, 2011, 8:46 AM EST

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

For a guy who has been in and around the majors for 20 years, most of us know very little about Buck Showalter.  Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com has a profile of the Orioles manager that focuses on his father. The father  who — in addition to storming the beaches of Normandy and desegregating a Florida high school that the white people in the community did not want desegregated — taught Buck about humility and character:

Buck Showalter is facing the biggest uphill battle in his career. It’s a reclamation project extended family members and close friends advised him against, a post that became official with Aug. 2’s press conference in Baltimore.

“You can’t win there,” they told Showalter of a downtrodden franchise in the middle of its 13th consecutive losing season. “It’s impossible.”

But nothing was impossible in the Showalter household, no matter how unpopular the decision was.

Talent will ultimately decide if the Orioles win or lose. But it’s also the case that, since Davy Johnson left town, they’ve been managed by guys who probably felt that they needed to prove themselves and probably felt pressure because of it.  Showalter has been around the block. And more importantly, he was brought up by a guy who placed more value on what a person actually did than what everyone else thought about it.  That can’t hurt as he embarks on his first full season with a team that everyone thinks is destined to be stuck in the cellar forever.

*I mistakenly wrote “phased” in the headline when it was first posted.  Yes, accuracy is important, but it’s probably also true that Showalter will not be carried out systematically as if by phases either, so I wasn’t 100% wrong.  Right?  Anyone?

  1. bubbleizzy - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    The headline should say fazed. Proofreaders, please!

  2. sdelmonte - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    He also won’t be shot down as if struck with phaser fire, either.

    • bigharold - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      That’s what I thought but then it occured to me that if anybody went back and read some of the stuff I hit Post comment to they’d realize that me and the notion of proof reader aren’t familar.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Buck put the Yankees together, Torre got the glory,

    • BC - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      The Yankees were put back together by Gene Michael when King George was on hiatus for the Howie Spira thing. From 1991-1995 you had Pettite, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Posada and Rivera all come on the scene (ie, they didn’t nuke their farm system). A couple good free-agent grabs (O’Neill, Tino Martinez), add a couple pitchers (Key, Cone), and whammo. Championships. Showalter had little to do with that.

      • yankeesfanlen - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Following this line of reasoning, the front office makes the team, and any manager is just a cartaker. Who develops the team on a day-to-day basis as they mature.? Certainly, managers have to play the cards they’re dealt, but some managers (and I’m not excluding Torre) do better to make winners out of whole cloth. I give Buck credit for that.

      • bigharold - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        You are underestimating Showalter’s contribution. Michael’s certainly did go get the talent but it was Showalter that set the tone of professionalism and identified then got rid of the dead wood. The Yankees were a mess in a lot of way in the early 90s and Showalter deserves his share of credit for their return to prominence.

        I agree that talent will eventually decide whether the O’s are successful under Showalter but between he and MacPhail I see the O’s as being a player in the AL East if not this year soon. In the mean time they will give the rest of the AL East fits. Their days as being the AL East door mat are over.

  4. hasbeen5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    There are hundreds, maybe thousands of guys I’d like to just sit down and talk baseball with, but every time I hear or read about Showalter he moves up my list.

  5. Utley's Hair - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Who knows? Maybe he’ll want to be Tased instead.

  6. apbaguy - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Something tells me his family members were right. While I’ve said before that Spring is for hope, Summer is for results, the Angelos track record (thirteen consecutive losing seasons “on the trot” as they say in the EPL) is powerful evidence that for Buck to “buck” this streak he’ll need the owner to stay far away from the baseball operation, something the owner has never done before. While I admire a man who challenges himself, I also wonder how this is all going to turn out. I hope BBTN is keeping Buck’s chair warm.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 15, 2011 at 5:32 PM

      Alas, there is no relegation in MLB—or the Orioles, Royals and Bucs (and, yes at one point, the Phightins) would have gone the way of.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 15, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Can Buck throw 96-98mph on the black? Because pitching is really what the Oriels need.

    I like that he got them interested in fundamentals and yadda yadda, but Trembley was praised for the same thing when he first joined. I think players will be excited at change when they think it has the potential to lead to winning, but if the winning does not follow they will regress to their previous state.

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