If Buck Showalter didn’t think he would have the ability or autonomy to change the culture of this once proud franchise, he wouldn’t even consider remaining in the organization much less heading upstairs.
Of course, Andy MacPhail very well may have felt he’d have total control as well. Or maybe he didn’t care about having total control and was just in it to pocket money for himself and Peter Angelos. In either case, Andy MacPhail has always been a businessman first, baseball man second.
Buck Showalter is an old school baseball guy. If he’s calling the shots for the organization, he’s going to call the shots to win. He isn’t going to be the guy that lays out a five year rebuilding plan or stays out of free agency while the team builds through the draft.
Now, maybe the Orioles need a five year rebuilding plan. Perhaps Buck Showalter will totally flame out as general manager. That is very possible.
But if Buck does flame out as GM, he’s going to go down swinging; either swinging at Peter Angelos for not staying out of the way, or swinging for the fences with his moves as the head shot-caller.
If Buck Showalter takes the reigns from Andy MacPhail and is put in control of this organization, he’s not doing it for laughs and giggles. And if he does it, he’s doing it to be THE guy. The image of Peter Angelos attempting to tell Buck Showalter that he wants to maximize profits or that he’s not allowed to trade X player is purely laughable. That ain’t happenin.
Needless to say, Buck to GM intrigues me if for no other reason than no other motives exist on the surface that would cause him to take the job other than a chance at winning. He’s not someone who is desperate for any job that he’ll take the O’s job and allow himself to be bossed around. He’s not the businessman or longtime friend that Andy MacPhail was.
Buck is a baseball man who has no reason to stick around in Charm City to watch the same script be written in 2012. He’s competitive, smart, driven, passionate, and realistic.
If that type of man believes he’ll have free reign under one of the most unproductive meddlesome owners the sports world has ever seen, then I’ll trust his judgement and roll the dice that Buck’s actual decisions as GM won’t suck.
Forget about Buck’s qualifications to be the general manager or his lack of experience in that role. If he feels like the job is good enough for him to dive into, I’ll cross my fingers and hope for the best. I can’t think of another man out there who would be a good, qualified candidate, plus have full reign to do the job the way he wants to do it.
Buck considering taking this job tells me he feels strongly about the notion that he won’t be interfered with. If that’s the case, I say let’s watch Buck Showalter do his thing as a general manager.