BALTIMORE — It’s safe to say Buck Showalter won’t be sending New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan any Orioles tickets for his comments criticizing the club for failing to move their Sept. 5 game to accommodate the Ravens in the NFL’s season-opening game.
The former Ravens defensive coordinator expressed his dissatisfaction with the Super Bowl XLVII champions’ inability to open the season at home as has become the custom over the last decade. Ryan went as far as suggesting that the Orioles should have just played in Chicago instead of hosting the White Sox that night, citing that it’s not a big deal considering major league teams play 81 home games.
While Ryan’s ties to Baltimore made it acceptable for him to share his disappointment over the situation, Showalter took exception to the New York coach’s suggestion that the Orioles simply give up a home game. To be clear, the Orioles manager was asked to respond to Ryan’s comments prior to the start of the club’s three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, but it seemed more than coincidental that Showalter knew the exact date of the Jets’ visit to Baltimore this coming season.
“I’d be a little more concerned about Nov. 24 when the Jets come here and trying to figure out a way to beat the Ravens, wouldn’t you?” said Showalter, who put the dates of the Ravens home games in his personal planner in hopes of attending one or two like he did last season. “I think that would be a little bit more of a challenge.
“I try to stay out of things that I don’t know about, like I don’t know about the NFL scheduling and the NFL challenges. That would be my advice. I would stay in what is my area of supposed expertise.”
Considering Ryan’s on shaky ground in New York with the Jets having missed the postseason in each of the last two years, many will find humor in Showalter’s use of the word “supposed” — intentional or not — with many wondering if the fifth-year coach will survive the 2013 season.
In the the Thursday conference call, Ryan expressed his continued fondness for Baltimore where he spent 10 years as a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator, but this was a subject he had no business broaching in such confrontational detail and with the complications being above his pay grade.
“Well, who really cares, you’ve got 81 at home, maybe you could have done the right thing and given one up and then played 82 on the road and then 80 at home,” Ryan said. “I really don’t think people are going to care about that game.
“Certainly, I can understand, if baseball only had a 16-game schedule you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, you might just [have] common courtesy and say, you know what, maybe I’ll play this one on the road or whatever.”
The conflict over the Sept. 5 date sparked much debate, polarizing many fans who elected to side with either the Orioles or the Ravens, but Ryan’s suggestion of simply giving up a home game is absurd for a club holding playoff aspirations after their first postseason appearance in 15 years last season.
Needless to say, it will be intriguing to see if Showalter circles the Jets’ trip to M&T Bank Stadium as one of the games he attends this fall. There certainly won’t be any doubt which team he’ll be rooting for.
To hear Showalter’s response to Ryan’s criticism, click HERE.