Timing Fishy As Birds Reportedly Set to Hire Showalter

July 11, 2010 | Glenn Clark

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Baltimore Orioles are “close to (a) deal” to hire Buck Showalter as manager; citing major league sources.

There is nothing particularly surprising about this news, as it has long been assumed that Showalter was the front-runner for the position. What IS surprising is that it comes on the same day the Baltimore Sun had reported that Juan Samuel would be the team’s manager following the All-Star Game.

Rosenthal stated in his story that it is unlikely the team would make the hire official until after the ASG, as Bud Selig and the MLB Commissioner’s office doesn’t like having individual clubs “upstage” the marquee event. However, it seems unlikely that a high-ranking O’s official would tell The Sun the team would keep Samuel as manager knowing they were “close” to a deal with the former manager of the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers.

There’s something very fishy about the two reports.

Perhaps the timing issues have something to do with the much-discussed idea that the team could hire Showalter as manager yet still let Juan Samuel continue to manage the team on the field. The discussion has centered around the idea that Showalter would be allowed to spend the year traveling to Norfolk, Bowie, Frederick, Aberdeen, Delmarva, Bluefield and Sarasota to get the feel for the entire organization.

I have dismissed this idea publicly not because I have any inside knowledge of whether or not it was true-but more because the idea is so stupid that it doesn’t really warrant mention. Or because the idea is so stupid that only the Baltimore Orioles could have thought of it.

Hey, plenty of good organizations have two men in charge at the same time! For example…the Washington Redskins decided to hire Mike Shanahan last season before they fired Jim Zorn! And when have the Washington Redskins ever done anything wrong?!?!?

The problem here is that IF this is the case (and I pray to God it isn’t), the team would then have two managers in place. One manager (Samuel) who is running the club on a day-to-day basis and appears to have found some level of respect from his ballclub. The other (Showalter) who will be spending time looking at players-the majority of which will never see a field in Charm City.

If Andy MacPhail is responsible for the organization, why would Buck Showalter need to worry about how the Ironbirds are doing?

My understanding is that in Major League Baseball (and despite the fact that I’m not welcome at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, I still have YEARS of experience covering MLB teams) managers are responsible for the team ON THE FIELD-not for making sure the right 4A guys are out there so that the Tides can make a run at the Charlotte Knights on the AAA level.

I believe both reports. The problem is-if both are true, something like this almost has to be going on.

That can’t be the case, right? This was such a good weekend in Arlington. I refuse to believe that Peter Angelos and company are going to screw something else up after the best 4 days of the season.

I don’t know why I refuse to believe it considering everything else they’ve screwed up, but I guess there’s still an orange Kool-Aid drinker inside of me that prays not everything can be as messed up as it seems.

We’ll see.

-G

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