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Buck Showalter spoke with Bud Selig regarding his comments about the Yankees

Aug 31, 2013, 11:20 AM EDT

Buck Showalter Getty Getty Images

You may recall that Orioles manager Buck Showalter made some pointed comments to USA Today last month about how the Yankees would benefit from Alex Rodriguez being suspended. For those unfamiliar, he said the following:

“If Bud lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax. If they can reset, they can spend again, and I guarantee you in two years, Matt Wieters is in New York.”

While Showalter later said that he thought he was speaking off the record, MLB wasn’t too happy about it. According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred placed a call to Orioles VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette to discuss the matter.

Manfred told him that the timing of Showalter’s comments, with the suspensions only days away, were not helpful and that there were many factors in play beyond what Showalter was aware of. He also wanted to make it clear that the issue was about Rodriguez, not a matter of letting the Yankees get away with anything.

Upon hearing about Manfred’s call, Showalter reached out to MLB commissioner Bud Selig to clear the air. The two “were said to have had a productive conversation.”

MLB obviously doesn’t want to give the impression that they are working to give the Yankees any sort of advantage, so it’s not surprising that they were peeved with the comments. But Showalter’s point remains relevant. If A-Rod’s suspension sticks, it will be a boon to the Yankees’ luxury tax situation.

  1. stinkfist5 - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Buck him!

    • apkyletexas - Aug 31, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Buck shouldn’t be complaining. He should be talking Dan Duquette into signing more juicers, so the Orioles can also take advantage of the luxury tax implications of future players suspensions.

      Isn’t Duquette the one who let Clemens go, only to watch him win 2 World Series with the Yanks? Yeah, thought so. Got to be thinking of all the angles, Danny boy.

  2. yankee172 - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    What a non-story.

  3. bigharold - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    “.. Showalter’s comments, with the suspensions only days away, were not helpful ..”

    So now it’s Showalter’s fault MLB looks like a corral full of horse’s ass?

    Showalter has a point about the unintended effect on suspending A-Rod. Aside from MLB tell him to be a bit more discrete they should let it go.

    And, obviously any suspension will help the Yankees luxury tax situation. Even if MLB can only make a 50 game suspension stick that still saves the Yankees over $7 Mil.

    • surefooted1 - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Well no isht it would help the team out financially that he played on. Cruz and Peralta’s suspension help Texas and Detroit. Anyone up in arms about that?

      And those with conspiracy theories like Buck about MLB secretly trying to help the Yankees, GTFO. A lot of the new rules regarding finances were meant to punish the Yankees and limit their infinite resource. International FA cap, draft slots, new CBS luxury tax, etc.

      • TheMorningStar - Aug 31, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        Cruz and Peralta are both FA’s after this season; their suspensions don’t help Rangers or Tigers per luxury cap purposes whatsoever. Your premise is flawed.

        A-Roid however will be owed 30+ million next season. If he misses all of 2014 his absence helps the Yankees astronomically luxury tax-wise. Cashman not only doesn’t need to make any painful decisions, they can actually go out and SIGN players.

        So yes, Showalter’s comments were completely warranted…and true.

      • surefooted1 - Aug 31, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        I never said it wouldn’t help the Yankees financially.

        And yes it does help the Rangers and Tigers this year as Cruz and Peralta were both suspended THIS year without pay. So it helps them THIS year in regards to luxury tax.

    • yankee172 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      What’s his point? What can possibly be done about it?

  4. righthandofjustice - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Showalter certainly has the rights to express his opinion. He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t say anything wrong.

    If Manfred is not happy with Showalter he should talk to Showalter, not the Orioles. MLB needs to realize this is a democratic country and the governments hasn’t given it unlimited powers to decide what’s right or wrong.

    • Glenn - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      The government has nothing to do with a private enterprise “speech” and how employees are managed. Can you publicly say anything you want about your boss and expect to have no repercussions because we live in a democracy?

      • righthandofjustice - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        MLB is not Sowalter’s boss.

      • righthandofjustice - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        RFOL. See? All the “people” who think MLB is the boss of everybody must be the ones who call Selig comrade.

  5. theskinsman - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Buck, telling the truth will get you in hot water….

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I understand part of what Buck is saying but there is no other way but to suspend players for matters like this, what I don’t get is the Matt Wieters comment. Is he as good as willie mays and I don’t realize it? He is an ok player who might get better later on but that’s all he is right now.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      But isn’t that what the Yankees do? Take OK players and overpay them like they’re superstars?

      • Jeremy T - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        Only if they’re ok players who used to be superstars

      • nbjays - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        You mean like Travis Hafner, Jayson Nix and Lyle Overbay?

        Got it!

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 31, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        ah but NBjays what you refused to understand is Hafner and overbay are “1” YEAR DEALS!!

  7. proudlycanadian - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    If the Yankees fail to resign Cano, worry about their luxury tax situation will be moot.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 31, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      and if the jays don’t resign…..oh yea it doesn’t matter you are still a LAST place team!! hahahhahahha it never changes kid, get used to it!!!

  8. proudliberal85392 - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    I’m thinking Buck is right.

  9. mrpinkca - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I can’t see that conversation ending in anything other way than Bud crying because he was so wrong.

    • Anoesis - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Not likely because Bud’s never been wrong. Ask him, he’ll tell you.

  10. mightymike1250 - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Personally, I think this is hilarious. The Yankee haters (and, by extension, A-Rod haters), don’t want A-Rod on the field for the Yankees because of his alleged involvement with Biogenesis but, at the same time, they don’t want the Yankees to have the advantage of losing A-Rod’s salary from the payroll and thereby free themselves up to go out and sign top free agents. What’s that old saying about not being able to have your cake and eat it, too…………………?

    • Anoesis - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      There’s no “extension” from hating the Yankees to hating A-Fraud. It’s one and the same.

      Rodriguez is a cheater and thus deserves the scorn he’s receiving. The Yankees are carpetbaggers and tend to throw money at proven players, thus earning the derision they receive.

      Rodriguez has been exposed for something the Yankees knew he was doing, thus the Yankees hardly deserve to be relieved of the idiotic contract they gave him.

      The old saying to which you are incorrectly referring involves eating your cake and having it, too. Strike three, mightymike. No joy in Mudville, hopefully for a long, long time.

    • theskinsman - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Mike,allow this yankee hater to tell you I WANT A-Rod (and Jeter) on the field until both their contracts expire.I’m hoping for an extension for both if possible.CC as well.

  11. Anoesis - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Yeah, Bud, like Buck said something earth-shaking that no one else was already thinking. Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall get ye sanctioned.

  12. righthandofjustice - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Obama should place a call to Bud Selig to discuss Rob Manfred’s call to Dan Duquette.

    We call it democracy when everybody is allowed to talk about what Obama does. It is communism not to allow people to disagree with what Selig does.

    • Glenn - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:58 PM


    • APBA Guy - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      Not really. Buck is a management official in a corporate structure. His “rights” to express himself are constrained by that insofar as they apply to criticism of his employer, as are other employees of the corporation:

      “Says Mark Trapp, an employment lawyer with Epstein Baker Green in Chicago. “Freedom to speak your mind doesn’t really exist in work spaces.” ”

      -from “Where Free Speech Goes to Die: The Workplace”
      By Michael Dolgow August 03, 2012 in Bloomberg Businessweek.

      • righthandofjustice - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        You got it wrong in two points. First, Showalter doesn’t work for MLB. Second, Freedom to speak is granted to everybody everywhere in the US. What that guy said was don’t expect your boss not try to retaliate if you speak your mind against him but legally the boss can’t do anything as long as it is factual.

        Government officials always criticize their bosses including Obama in the public but they are allowed to do that.

      • APBA Guy - Aug 31, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        Righthand, you are the one who has it wrong. Buck works for the Orioles, who are a franchisee of MLB. Buck can be terminated for speaking out. Google it. People get fired from the work place for speaking out. Public sector case law is different than private sector.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 31, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        Second, Freedom to speak is granted to everybody everywhere in the US. What that guy said was don’t expect your boss not try to retaliate if you speak your mind against him but legally the boss can’t do anything as long as it is factual.

        You’re wrong, and it’s really pathetic you keep arguing this point because you couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s what the first amendment says, and I’ll bold the important part:

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[69]

        A better way to understand the first amendment isn’t that you can say whatever you want, it’s that Congress can’t tell you to shut up. MLB is completely within their rights to punish their employees for what they say. It’s the same way the NBA fines players/coaches for criticizing officials. Private entities can do this, not legislative bodies.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 31, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        abba clown, seriously put on some dancing queen, you make no sense ever

    • stex52 - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      I lost track of your argument there.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Joseph Stalin doesn’t agree.

  13. redmanrt - Aug 31, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Whenever I learn that the Yankees have lost a game, even to Boston, my day becomes a little brighter.

  14. danaking - Aug 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    The simple solution is to continue to count the salaries of suspended players against the luxury tax, whether the money is actually paid or not. Frankly, I think the teams should have to pay the money–to charity, let’s say–which may promote less of a “maybe we’ll look the other way” mentality. How many teams would be willing to risk not having the player during a suspension AND not getting to keep the money?

  15. airedale1950 - Aug 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Jeez guys, the rules are the rules, suck it up. Showalter can piss and moan, the Yankee haters can piss and moan louder, but it is what it is. Everyone was in favor with the testing, the players collectively endorsed the penalties through their vaunted union, and now, as a direct result, some parties will lose, some will benefit. ( If it was still 1994-95 in New york Showalter would have kept his pie hole shut, and be spitting his seeds with a smile on his pan.)

    • jgibson240 - Sep 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Ideally Buck’s comments may make Selig consider for the betterment of the game that while Arod obviously won’t be paid during the suspension, that the contract still counts as far as luxury tax calculations are concerned.

  16. redridershoottheireyeout - Aug 31, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Buck knows the relationship between the Steinbrenners and Selig, being part of the Yankees organization for a long time early in his career. It’s called the old boys club and it exists in every pro league.

    • djpostl - Aug 31, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      Buck is also butthurt about having been fired by the Yankees and doesn’t miss a single chance to bitch and whine about them.

  17. thecrabcakestate - Aug 31, 2013 at 7:22 PM


    You are missing the aspect that Matt Wieters is one of if not the best catchers in the game. It’s almost impossible to steal against him and he’s just a great catcher. Unfortunately, he hasn’t panned out as the batter he was supposed to be. That’s what you refer to I’m assuming. Still. Almost any team would take him in a heartbeat.

  18. thecrabcakestate - Aug 31, 2013 at 7:22 PM


    You are missing the aspect that Matt Wieters is one of if not the best catchers in the game. It’s very hard to steal against him and he’s just a great catcher. Unfortunately, he hasn’t panned out as the batter he was supposed to be. That’s what you refer to I’m assuming.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 31, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      um honest to god he isn’t that good, you are giving him WAY WAY too much credit. I hope the O’s keep him cause he is average and maybe a little above at best. You just don’t get it but I understand that. I see him being a back up in like 3 years

  19. djpostl - Aug 31, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    “But Showalter’s point remains relevant. If A-Rod’s suspension sticks, it will be a boon to the Yankees’ luxury tax situation.”

    If only that was Buck’s point then you might be correct.

    But his point was that THE YANKEES were actively doing something that MLB shouldn’t “let them get away with.”

    They can love his suspension. They can benefit greatly from it. But they aren’t “trying to get away with” a God damn thing, hence his whole point is nothing but some misplaced anger and butthurt fueled whining.

    With what he alleged you can’t be “kind of right” just like you can’t be “kind of pregnant.”

    It is either what he claimed it was, some sort of extra-sneaky plan by the Evil Empire or it is just freak luck on their part.

    There’s no middle ground to be conceded the idiot.

  20. eanxdivr - Sep 1, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Buck Showalter is right. I think it’s hilarious every time the Yankees get their panties twisted up about whatever drama they have going on, and this time MLB gets to play a part in helping its Chosen Franchise….

  21. jgibson240 - Sep 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    There is such an obvious and easy solution that Selig could implement and one that doesn’t make signing a PED user win/win for clubs.

    When a player is suspended, even though that salary isn’t being paid out the players salary is still used in calculations for the luxury tax. With no adjustments for the better of the game, teams get the benefit of increased performance from their PED using players and no penalty when they are caught. Knowing that the players salary is still going to count against luxury tax calculations may give some small incentive to teams to be more proactive before handing out contracts.

    Easy and fair solution, no?

  22. thecrabcakestate - Sep 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    You don’t know baseball if you think Wieters is an average catcher. Plan and simple. He is unreal and almost any scout or baseball personnel will tell you that. He wasn’t the number one prospect in all of baseball for nothing. Now he didn’t pan out the way people thought he would offensively but he did at his position.

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