Buck Showalter has been tight-lipped about last week’s interview for the Orioles managerial position, but he broke his silence on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Sunday evening, sharing his impressions on the current state of the Baltimore Orioles.
For anyone hoping to get a legitimate read on Showalter’s thoughts, you’ll probably have to wait as he was hesitant to discuss specifics, citing his respect for interim manager Juan Samuel and not wanting to comment specifically about “his” job. The 54-year-old former manager did, however, confirm his interest in the position.
Despite the Orioles’ league-worst 23-52 record, the former big league manager acknowledged there is some talent with which to work in Baltimore.
“It’s a tough situation, but the one mistake people make, I think, is just because a club has lost X number of games that everything there is bad,” Showalter told Karl Ravech on Baseball Tonight. “There are some great pieces there.”
When asked why he would consider taking a managerial job in Baltimore given its current state and having to play in the toughest division in baseball, Showalter said any managerial job is a rare privilege.
“We’ll see where it takes us and what’s presented to somebody. And you take each step as it comes. It’s an honor, and a lot of people work hard to get that opportunity. I’m lucky to be [one] of them.”
Showalter believes the Orioles can compete against the top teams in the AL East, even if it means using creative means of doing it besides a $200 million payroll.
“Sure, they can [compete]. They may have to do it a little differently than somebody else, but sooner or later, you’re going to have to figure out a way to be better than the Yankees and Red Sox anyway, so a lot of people, maybe, in running for that job would say, ‘Bring it on.’”
The former manager of the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers is 882-833 in his managerial career and is a two-time Manager of the Year (1994 and 2004).
With Bobby Valentine having withdrawn his name from consideration last week, it is believed Showalter and former Indians manager Eric Wedge are the front-runners for the job. Wedge will receive a second interview after owner Peter Angelos was not present for his first meeting with Andy MacPhail earlier this month.
Rick Dempsey will also interview for the position.