Skip to content

O’s skipper Buck Showalter rips Theo Epstein, Derek Jeter

Mar 23, 2011, 9:55 PM EDT

showalter bigger Getty Images

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t usually one for trash talk, but, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the veteran skipper let some fellow members of the American League East have it in the April edition of Men’s Journal.

These quotes come without the questions that prompted them, but they’re pretty revealing anyway and worth discussing on some level.

First, Showalter on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein:

“I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll. You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?’ ”

And here’s Showalter on Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter:

“The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout. Our guys are thinking, ‘Wow, he’s screaming at Jeter.’ Well, he’s always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets – and yes, he [ticks] me off.”

Showalter managed the Yankees from 1992-1995 and those teams had awfully high payrolls, so it’s a little odd that he’d touch that topic. As for the Jeter thing? Sounds like he was probably attempting to fire up the down-and-out Orioles at the end of last season with all that shouting. This stuff is innocent.

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Seems to me like he’s a little resentful of being relegated to a second tier team. Last time I looked Peter Angelos wasn’t exactly hurting for money.

    • chefc4emf4 - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Seems to me like all you loser Red Sox and Yankees fans can’t take an fing joke or manager of another team firing his club up. For fans of a team that has had a winning record for the past decade, you all sure are a bunch of p-ssies.

      • deweybest24 - Mar 24, 2011 at 9:07 PM

        Seems to me that a real manager should not have to demean another team in order to “fire up” his own team……………

  2. bigharold - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    This seems exactly like 2008 when Cervelli had his wrist broken in ST by a Rays player and Joe Madden pretty much said too bad we play hard all the time. And, they went out and won the division.

    This is Showalter throwing down the gauntlet. One party of me thinks good for him. The other part is reminded that generally it’s best not to make your opponents nuts.

    In the end, what will matter most is whether the O’s have the talent but Buck just put a great bif chip on their collective shoulders.

    • Mark - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:21 PM

      It’s one thing to say they play hard. It’s another to flat out criticize another GM/player when there was on field incident. It’s not remotely the same situation. What Madden said was fine – Showalter just comes off as a dick.

      • Mark - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:22 PM


        Sorry that should say “there was no on field incident”.

      • bigharold - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM

        ” Showalter just comes off as a dick.”

        No he doesn’t.

        First of all he’s right. Jeter’s one of my favorite all time players but that “…umping back from balls just off the plate.” stuff, .. he does do that a lot and gets away with it. Read it carefully, he didn’t criticize Epstein, just the notion that he’s a genius, which for the record he isn’t. The only thing out of the ordinary is he said it aloud.

        And, you’re missing the point. The incident I referred to the Yankees weren’t happy about something and Madden didn’t care and made a point of saying so. Showalter is doing the same thing. He’s, depending one your point of view, declaring that he’s not concerned about what the Yankees or Red Sox think or hanging a target on the O’s collective back.

        While I wouldn’t have done that I understand he did and I think the O’s will be a bigger problem for the powers in the AL than most people think and right around .500 is a reasonable expectation.

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2011 at 7:57 AM

        I’m not Jeter apologist, but could it be that he looks like he’s jumping back from inside pitches (or that he does jump back from inside pitches) because he strides toward the plate instead of toward the mound?
        It may be that he does it because of his mechanics and not because of some larger goal of getting a few more inside calls, which likely wouldn’t work anyway….the umps (most of them) know exactly where the ball is and no amount of jumping around is going to change their call…in fact, many would probably give the pitcher a little more room because of such shenanigans.

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2011 at 7:57 AM

        *no Jeter apologist

  3. henryd3rd - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    You got to feel a little sorry for Buck. First he manages the 1995 Yankees to the playoffs and they loose a great playoff series to Ken Griffey’s Mariners and George Steinbrenner fires him. The next year they win it all with Joe Torre at the helm. He then builds the Diamond Backs an expansion team from scratch into a contender and he then gets fired because he is wound so tight that he makes everyone else uptight. They then win it all and whom do they defeat the Yankees.

    He’s bitter at the way the fates have treated him and who can blame him. He’s a baseball lifer and he has been so close to that golden ring only to see someone else walk away with the prize. Yes he bitter and he has a right to be bitter.

    Now he goes to work for another egotistical owner Peter Angelos and its is only a matter of time before he fired and back on ESPN.

    In the words of the great Yankee broadcaster at that time Phil Scooter Rizzuto, “Holy Cow”.

    • sportsfan18 - May 12, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      has a RIGHT to be bitter?

      sounds like a democrat to me then…

  4. Ari Collins - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Teams with lower payrolls than Baltimore last year: 13.

    Teams with worse records: 3.

    Number of times Baltimore beat a $205M team last year: 5. (In 18 tries.)

    Number of times Baltimore beat a $205M Red Sox team last year: 0. (In 0 tries.)

    • uyf1950 - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:14 PM

      I don’t know why he’s complaining about the Red Sox, After all at $82MM the Orioles had half the payroll of the Sox in 2010 and they still split the season series with them 9-9. Obviously money wasn’t a difference maker in that series.

      • mightymike1250 - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM

        And most of that $82 million probably came from the Yankees and the Red Sox through the luxury tax.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:52 PM

        Number of times the Showalter-helmed Orioles beat Boston: 3.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:02 AM

        …with 3 loses. A .500 record just like his predecessor.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:24 AM

        Yeah, no, it was a good showing considering their overall record. But still. I’m glad he enjoyed “whipping their butt” all three times it happened.

      • marinersnate - Mar 24, 2011 at 3:51 AM

        “And most of that $82 million probably came from the Yankees and the Red Sox through the luxury tax.”

        The “luxury tax” is NOT part of revenue sharing. Other teams do NOT recieve a dime of it. Do a little bit of research.

      • mightymike1250 - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        Sorry, marinersnate. Let me restate: “And most of that $82 million probably came from the Yankees and the Red Sox through REVENUE SHARING.” Happy now? By the way, the Yankees were once again rated by Forbes as the most valuable team in baseball — in excess of $5 billion. What are the Mariners worth? $1.97? (That’s not billions, by the way. I mean one dollar and ninety-seven cents). So, I guess having a $5 billion franchise to go along with your 27 world championships (or is it 28? I can’t remember) isn’t a bad place to be. Of course, compared to Seattle, anywhere isn’t a bad place to be.

    • turtletugger - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM

      Ari Collins…where do you get your stats from? Last I looked the Orioles were 11-11 vs the Red Sox in 2010.

      And “Teams with worse records” means nothing. Everyone knows the AL East is the best division in all sports

      • Ari Collins - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:52 PM

        Try reading what I said a bit carefully. I know you can do it!

      • Ari Collins - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:54 PM

        Also, how are you getting 11-11? Are you counting Spring Training or something?

      • Ari Collins - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:57 PM

        Also also: right, the AL East is such a tough division that any mid-payroll team immediately becomes a 96-loss club.

    • turtletugger - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM

      If you want to be clever about it fine…Number of times Baltimore beat a 186M Red Sox team last year: 11 (in 22 tries)

      • Ari Collins - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:23 AM

        To explain further without the snark: I was just pointing out that it’s weird that Showalter sounded like he thought Boston had the $205M payroll last year.

        More likely he just didn’t realize he hadn’t mentioned the Yankees, or something. I mean, it’s easier to make a mistake like that when speaking than typing from your mom’s basement. (Like I am right now. I am currently typing from your mom’s basement.)

        The other weird thing is that Showalter himself only beat the Red Sox 3 times last year, so it’s not like he had a ton of times to celebrate “whipping their butt”. (As an aside, isn’t the phrase “whupping their butt”? That’s a lot more manly than using a whip on someone’s rear end, which sounds more like an S&M thing.) And the Orioles got whupped themselves by the Yankees last year, and the FIVE victories they had weren’t even all with Showalter at the helm.

        Snark’d or unsnark’d versions aside, the great thing about the 9-9 record the Os managed against Boston (is 11-11 counting Spring Training?) is that even the low-payroll teams (which the Orioles weren’t, but still) can beat the big boys any given day in this sport. And while as a Sox fan it was frustrating, of course, there’s always SOME team that beats your more than it “should”. Gotta love the quirks of baseball, even when they work against your favorite team.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 23, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    I’d be mad too if I had to manage a team looking at 100 losses. You do what you gotta do to make it seem meaningful.

  6. ThatGuy - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Those Showalter teams had high payrolls, but nothing compared to these days. The Showalter Yankee’s never had the top payroll in the league, and the for the most part if you were to rank them 1-28 by salary, the next team was never more than like 2 million away. Does not even compare to the 50 million the Yankee’s are ahead of the redsox, and the 20 million the Sox are ahead of the next closest team. Hell the highest payroll than was 50 million.

  7. purdueman - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Showalter has ALWAYS been a horses arse. I have no problem with him pointing out the obvious (the HUGE payroll disparity between the Yankees, Red Sox and the rest of the division… for that matter the rest of both leagues too), nor do I have a problem with him calling out Jeter either, but as Ozzie Guillen once said: “He (Showalter), has never put on a jock so why should anyone take him seriously?”. Exactly!

    • paintan8 - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      What not educate yourself before making a horses arse out of your own self. Showalter was an All-American at Mississippi State and never played in the big leagues only because he was a first baseman and the Yankees had Don Mattingly the entire time Buck was in their organization. He never got traded or released by the Yankees and decided to go into coaching while he was still a good player. Ozzie wouldn’t know that because he, like you, doesn’t bother with facts.

      • genericcommenter - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        You have some good points but Showalter wasn’t exactly blocked by Don Mattingly. Showalter is 5 years older and a had a 2 year head start in pro baseball. He was in AA when Mattingly was in A-, and Buck made AAA a season before Mattingly but he didn’t stick. By 1982 Showalter was the 1B for AA and Mattingly was playing mostly OF for AAA.

        It really comes down to the fact that Showalter stalled out in AA after 5 years in the system and Mattingly took 3 years to go to AAA and perform. In 1982 Showalter hit .294/.366/.379, 3,46 at AA and Mattingly hit .315/.378/.437, 10,75 at AAA. The previous season they were AA teammates and one of the guys hit .316 with 98 RBI while the other hit .264 with 38.

        It’s not like Buck was blocked by a 19th Rd. Draft pick who was groomed by the Yankees for stardom. He was a light hitting first baseman who stalled at AA at age 26 and never hit in limited opportunities at AAA. In Showalter’s last season Mattingly wasn’t even established in the majors and played OF more than 1B.

  8. turtletugger - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    I love it!! Way to go Buck..Baltimore type attitude.

    • mightymike1250 - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:52 PM

      Yes, Baltimore type attitude and 5 bucks (no pun intended) will get you a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s — and leave you in the cellar of the AL East, as usual.

      • turtletugger - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:16 AM

        And then Id throw that coffee in your face. We might lose but we still care and we are on our way back to winning.

      • Ari Collins - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:27 AM

        I’d dive in between him and the coffee. It would look like I’m “taking the bullet for him,” but I would then use my cybernetic lungs to create a minor windstorm to scatter the coffee harmlessly into the air.

        Then… then it would be on, my friend.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:41 AM

        Or I would jump in between with another cup to catch the coffee—’cause coffee is second on the list of stuff you don’t waste (any guesses on the top of the list?).

  9. Glenn - Mar 23, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    Sour grapes make wine and wine can make one a bit feisty and over confident.

    • paperlions - Mar 24, 2011 at 8:01 AM

      …or sleepy at a traffic light.

      • bigdicktater - Mar 24, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        …or in the control tower of a major metropolitan airport.

  10. yankeesfanlen - Mar 24, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Rex Ryan South

  11. dcmur21 - Mar 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    I love it! What I think is funny is how the sports press takes anything anyone says about anyone and turns it into a “rip” or a “burn.” That criticism of Jeter has been going on for years and he’s right about Epstein (not pronounced Einstein). Of course the Yankees and Red Sox are going to get better players. What free agent in his right mind wouldn’t want to go to a perennial contender with bottomless pockets? These were not vitriolic statements. Having said that, Buck had to know the press would twist his words as they have. Sports journalists have to make money in the offseason, too. If anything, this is an indictment on them. For shame. Go Buck! And Go O’s!

  12. Panda Claus - Mar 24, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    The part about Jeter sounds like he’s playing basketball coach here. Let’s throw the notion out there that Jeter’s get favorable calls, then see if some of the calls start going the other way. Nothing that Phil Jackson or Rick Pitino wouldn’t do about trying to get into the minds of the referees.

    Not sure this method works on some baseball umpires though, given their lofty egos and inability to admit they might be wrong once in a while.

    It’s probably also an attempt by Showalter to direct attention to himself, which theoretically takes pressure and focus off the players. Plus it’s certainly a bold way to promote a new attitude to his team.

    • chinahand11 - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      Great analogy Panda, my thoughts were similar, Bucko being a little “Caliperi-esque” laying groundwork for future calls.

  13. schrutebeetfarms - Mar 24, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Overall this is a good thing. Showalter is old school and from the days when you were supposed to hate the other team, not this everyone is friends style. If the Orioles can compete, that will be great for baseball. And let’s be honest, on both items, he does have a valid point.

  14. stinkfist5 - Mar 24, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Don’t F*ck With Buck!

  15. frankvzappa - Mar 24, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    big words coming from a man whose team finishes last every year…

  16. bobwsc - Mar 24, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    wonder if he’s still rocking the comb-over under that hat

  17. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 24, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Buck is just pissed about being fired and having to watch the Yankees and Arizona win the world series.

    Buck is a good baseball man he helped build those two teams up to that point.

    Buck really didn’t say anything bad about DJ.

    I loved the Theo dig, it is true.

  18. sparky1002 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Poor Buck…always a Bridesmaid and never a Bride at the “big one”. Maybe he can purchase one of Derek Jeters rings and have the inscription changed?

  19. ken k - May 13, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Have to agree with Buck that the Yankees sure get a lot of calls. This year Jeter is being given the smallest strike zone I’ve ever seen.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. B. Crawford (2770)
  2. Y. Puig (2442)
  3. C. Correa (2431)
  4. G. Stanton (2384)
  5. G. Springer (2294)
  1. H. Pence (2218)
  2. J. Hamilton (2110)
  3. M. Teixeira (1902)
  4. H. Ramirez (1898)
  5. J. Fernandez (1869)