BALTIMORE — After weeks of speculation and a 40-minute press conference on Monday, we’ll witness the start of the Buck Showalter era in Baltimore as the Orioles (32-73) host the Los Angeles Angels (54-53) at 7:05 this evening.
Showalter spoke to the media immediately after holding his first team meeting. You can hear Showalter’s first pre-game press conference with the media as well as reaction from Nick Markakis and Ty Wigginton in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.
It was a quiet clubhouse as Showalter met with his new team for the first time, but the new manager wasn’t surprised at the response given the way the season has gone and the changes the team has undergone since early June.
“I tried to get a little feedback, but a little quiet right now,” Showalter said after meeting with his players. “We’ll do that one-on-one, but it was good. It was fun for me. I try to keep in mind [this] is the third time they’ve been through this, so I’m sensitive of that.”
Showalter will spend the coming days trying to get a feel for the players on a different level from what he’s watched on television over the last few weeks. He met with the coaches individually for a better feel for each player and opinions on what’s been going on with the players in relation to what Showalter has observed from afar.
“I know what I feel in my gut right now, but I want to get some things verified by what I see on the field.”
Players expressed relief in finally knowing who the long-term answer is at manager and not having to answer questions about job security and when the new manager will be hired. In regards to Showalter, players will have to get acclimated to his tendencies and expectations on the field.
“[The meeting] was pretty simple. I don’t think it was anything unexpected,” Markakis said. “He just pretty much came in and told us how it’s going to be, and we’re all ready to get started.”
For younger players like Markakis, this will be the first time they’ve played for a manager with prior big-league experience at the helm.
“It’s different, but good,” Markakis said. “We all know what he’s capable of doing; we know what he’s done. I know I can speak for the rest of us, we’re just as happy to have him here and be a part of this group as he is. We’re all looking forward to being able to go out there and play for him everyday.”
Here is tonight’s lineup, the first made out by Showalter:
2B Brian Roberts
RF Nick Markakis
1B Ty Wigginton
DH Luke Scott
CF Adam Jones
LF Felix Pie
C Matt Wieters
3B Josh Bell
SS Cesar Izturis
SP Jeremy Guthrie (4-11, 4.23 ERA)
With the significance of tonight’s game, we’ll be reopening the Orange Crush chat, getting underway at 7:00 p.m. Please join us to discuss the beginning of the Buck Showalter era as WNST personalities will be checking in throughout the night. We can even talk a little Purple as well as we gear up for the Purple Haze chats returning soon!