Feb 15, 2011, 8:46 AM EST
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?