Two weeks ago, my executive producer, Glenn Clark, in the midst of the Orioles in discussions with Buck Showalter to become the next Orioles manager, said that the Orioles were going to wait till the start of Ravens training camp to announce the decision.
He said the Orioles have done this before. In 2006, they announced the resigning of 3B Melvin Mora, who had actually signed his deal weeks before the news broke.
Angelos wants this team as the top dog in the city even if fans aren’t going to Oriole Park at Camden Yards anymore. He knows baseball season has ended in the last week of July for at least the last ten years.
Well lightning struck twice Thursday, as Tim Kurkjian of ESPN has reported that the Orioles have hired Showalter as manger of the team.
Showalter reportedly will take over the team from interim manager Juan Samuel on August 3rd when the Orioles take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to start a six-game home stand.
The Ravens open full-team practices on Friday morning at 8:45 at McDaniel College, with all veterans reporting and suiting up for hitting, tackling, and running routes.
We’ll have to wait and see what the water-cooler talk is tomorrow, and who is the Baltimore manager we should be paying the most attention to. Showalter or John Harbaugh?
Showalter and his 882-833 career record managing in the big leagues will fit right into the driver’s seat of the Orioles, and will try and stop the bleeding when it comes to this year’s Orioles team (31-70), which is off to its worst start in franchise history and is veering itself dangerously close to the worst teams ever to suit up and hit the field.
Showalter will be the third man in the manager’s seat this year for the Orioles, as he replaces Samuel (16-31) and Dave Trembley(15-39).
Showalter had been named AL Manager of the Year twice in his managerial career, once with the Yankees in 1995 and then with the Rangers a few years ago.
He has proven to turn teams around fast, as every one of the organizations he has managed-the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers, all were terrible before Showalter took charge. He also has a hand in the front office aspect of the job, as he helped in the player personnel department with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and most recently had a small role with the Cleveland Indians before taking the broadcasting job at ESPN.
The Diamondbacks and Yankees both won World Series titles because of Showalter’s work; the only problem is that they hoisted the trophies one year after giving Showalter his walking papers.
He spent four years as Yankees manager (313-268), three seasons in Arizona (250-236), and (319-329) with Texas.
But with that, he eventually wears out his welcome. He has also had issues with the front office, as he is known as quite the control freak. That has been the main cause of his quick exits over the last dozen of years, and we’ll have to see if those problems arise again with the most meddling of owners in Peter Angelos and a attention-to-detail man like Andy MacPhail.
I would assume that Showalter would at least get three or four years on his contract to fix this team, because this team is not anywhere close to being competitive for at least two more seasons.
What Showalter does bring to the table is a man who has been around the league, and has garnered a lot of respect from players, coaches, and front office personnel.
He is the first high-profile, experienced managerial candidate the Orioles have introduced since the hiring of Mike Hargrove back in 2000.
With 13 straight losing seasons, talk around the league is that the Orioles are too deep into the cellar to attract any high profile free agents.
Having a big name like Buck Showalter in charge could put some of those doubts-not all-to rest.
It could maybe attract a player, like first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres, who played under Showalter from 2004-2005.
The players in Texas really like Showalter, and we should see soon how Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Brian Matusz, and Matt Wieters all warm up to Buck.
But as said above, now we as Baltimore sports fans have a dilemma on our hands.
As the Orioles have put themselves on center stage (or at least tried to) yet again, we must ask ourselves. If we have a chance tomorrow to spend some time watching the Buck Showalter Introductory Press Conference, or the Ravens practicing, and we only have one choice…what’s it going to be?
The Orioles continue to show their selfishness by wanting you to choose baseball. Showalter could be the answer, but for now, let’s keep saying that John Harbaugh is still the top coach in town.
Tune into WNST and wnst.net as we continue to follow this new hire and hopefully a turning new page in Baltimore Orioles history!