In just a month’s time, Buck Showalter will be celebrating his one year anniversary as skipper of the Baltimore Orioles.
That’s right, if you fast forward 28 days on the calendar, you’ll arrive at August 3rd – which marks the day Buck first appeared in his black and orange garb, while sternly staring at the field from the Camden Yards dugout.
We recall that 6-3 win and ultimate sweep of the Angels to usher in Buck’s first series, right?
It seems like a long time ago.
Thus, I’m obliged to ask how much positive reflecting Showalter will be doing exactly four weeks from today?
He obviously doesn’t strike us as a guy who relishes significant dates on his respective resume’. Indeed, he seems a little more modest …. and a bit more focused on the project of his toils.
However, I do wonder if Buck Showalter, in one of his most private moments, has begun to question the wisdom and ultimate decision that led him back to managing a Major League team, and most specifically, the challenge known as the ORIOLES …..
Following last night’s collapse, is there a remote chance he savored a cold beer and revisited last year’s formed union with Andy MacPhail and Peter Angelos?
Is he begrudgingly awaiting tonight’s late night flight from his HOME to Logan Airport, in Boston?
Will he wakeup this morning, look in the mirror and simply say to himself “I’m 55 years old …. what in the hell was I thinking?”
These are all fair considerations, right?
After all, Buck Showalter finds himself managing a team that is now a season-low 11 games below .500 and 14.5 games off the AL East pace.
So much for changing the culture …..
So much for demanding better results …..
And, herein lies the question …..
As the title of the blog suggests, have the Orioles finally changed the man who supposedly had the character, toughness and no nonsense demeanor to remold them into the image of a contender?
Perhaps, the MacPhail and Angelos tandem are not living up to their end of the bargain. That wouldn’t be a surprise to any of us. And, at the same time, we’ll likely never no such a truth, because Showalter is not a “dirty laundry airing” kinda guy.
Yet, the blunt reality is the Orioles really are no better today, as opposed to the team that finished the 2010 season on a 34-23 run, under the watchful Showalter eye of accountability.
Professionalism and a commitment to fundamentals are part of the good talk that exists when a managerial change takes place. But, in the end, results are deemed by TALENT and the Orioles simply don’t have it.
There is no room for excuses. Injuries are part of the game. Slumps and inconsistent production are part of the game. Evaluating prospects beyond their true worth will always be part of the game.
You can probably attribute a mixture of the 3 components, listed above, as primary reasoning for what appears to be another failed season for the Baltimore Orioles franchise. At least they’re consistently inconsistent, huh?
I can’t imagine Buck Showalter didn’t examine the true lack of depth within the organization’s minor league system. He had to know about the stripped down scouting department. He had to gauge the MacPhail and Angelos track record of penny pinching.
So, he shouldn’t be surprised that he finds himself managing a last place team.
The optimism that brimmed with a new baseball season was dependent upon everything going right. And, well, that’s hardly been the case …..
Derrek Lee and Vlad Guerrero have not lived up to expectations.
Brian Roberts is hurt, again.
Brian Matusz has lost IT.
For every bright spot, there are equally bad spots to void any hope of a resurgence. That’s what happens when you gamble …..
In the end, even the best managers are HUMAN. They’re only capable of reaching the heights posed by the quality of their roster.
A year ago, Buck Showalter inherited a bad baseball team. A year later, he’s still managing a bad baseball team.
And, it’s beginning to appear they’ll break him before he changes them.