Tag Archive | "Manny Ramirez"

The Reality Check Starting Nine Players We Just Haven't Liked For Whatever Reason

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The Reality Check Starting Nine Players We Just Haven’t Liked For Whatever Reason

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Our fourth edition of “The Starting Nine (Ten)” Wednesday was perhaps the opposite of the previous week. This week’s edition was “Players We Just Haven’t Liked For Whatever Reason.”

If you wanted to know the reason you should have been listening to the radio show. It’s quite good.

Glenn Clark’s Nine (Ten):

Pitcher: Roger Clemens

Catcher: Brook Fordyce

First Baseman: Kevin Millar

Second Baseman: Jeff Kent

Third Baseman: Aubrey Huff

Shortstop: Travis Fryman

Outfielder: Manny Ramirez

Outfielder: Carl Everett

Outfielder: Gary Sheffield

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz

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Orioles GM Dan Duquette says team not likely to pursue Manny Ramirez

Posted on 10 February 2012 by Ryan Chell

Orioles Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette has restored a lot of his former connections from his time with the Boston Red Sox, but it appears former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez will not be in Camden Yards this year in orange and black-according to the GM himself tonight at Sports Legends Museum.

It was widely speculated over the last week and a half that the Orioles were strongly considering the 12-time All-Star and 500-home run member to platoon at DH along with the recently-acquired Wilson Betemit.

However, the Duquette put that speculation to rest tonight to a group of reporters at Babe’s Birthday Bash at Sports Legends.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a fit for Manny,” Duquette said to MASN and a select group of reporters. “We’ve looked at that all winter and I’m not sure there’s a fit there for the Orioles. I wish Manny a lot of luck, but I just don’t think he fits in our ballclub right now.”

With pitchers and catchers on their way to Sarasota to report to spring training (including the likes of Orioles P Tommy Hunter who joined Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Friday), Duquette felt like management was content with the team at place as they ready for the 2012 season.

“We’ll, we’ve got plenty in camp and we should be able to weed through the guys we have,” Duquette said. “We’ve made a concerted effort to add on-base percentage to complement the power hitters. He had four guys hit 20 home runs. There are only a couple teams in the league with 20-home run guys – four of them – and we have four of them.”

Even if the Orioles brought Ramirez in for a look, he was expected to split time with Wilson Betemit at DH and would not be an option in the field turning 40 in May.

He also is currently facing a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for an infraction of MLB’s Drug Policy. In December from an appeal by Ramirez, the suspension-which was handed down last year when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays-was reduced in half the games.

The Duquette-to-Ramirez connection goes back to the off-season
of 2000 when the Duquette signed the former Silver Slugger away from the Cleveland Indians.

Despite Duquette’s dismissal in 2002, Ramirez remained in Boston until 2008 helping the Red Sox to win two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 before his departure to the Dodgers at the trade deadline in 2008.

Be sure to follow WNST for your Orioles, Ravens, and Terps news! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!


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Rest easy — the Orioles aren’t signing Manny Ramirez (right?)

Posted on 08 February 2012 by Drew Forrester

I won’t guarantee this.

I’ll SUPER-guarantee it.

The Orioles aren’t going to sign Manny Ramirez.

Yes, yes, I’m well aware Dan Duquette has publicly admitted the Orioles have “explored” a possible contract with the once-prolific, twice-suspended malcontent.

I reported the details of the potential marriage RIGHT HERE at WNST.net yesterday.

But they’re not going to sign Ramirez.


Because there’s no way they’re that dumb.  Or that gullible.  Or that much in need of someone to generate polarizing commentary among the fans and media.

I’m SUPER-guaranteeing it.  They’re not signing Manny Ramirez.

There’s no reason to sign the former Red Sox slugger.  None.  The only thing he brings to the Orioles – or anyone else for that matter – is the high likelihood of regret.  Call it buyer’s remorse or any other fancy description for what happens when you take a gamble on someone or something you shouldn’t be gambling on, but that’s exactly the scenario created by a Ramirez contract.

Are you a black-jack player?  You pull a King and the 8 of Hearts.  You staying on 18?  Or do you want another card?  Right.  You’ll hold. That next card could be an ace, 2 or 3 — but you know, as a gambler, the odds are greater that you’re getting a 4 or higher when that next card is flipped.

Ramirez is the “10” you pull when you’re already on King-8.

He’s a bad gamble.

Make that…a horrible gamble.

Why on earth would the Orioles trust him after what he did to Tampa Bay last April?  Answer: They won’t.  That’s why they’re not going to sign him.

Ramirez made $18 million in 2010 with the Dodgers and White Sox.

No one in the league wanted him last off-season.  No one.  So he decided to sign on with the Rays for the “paltry” sum of $2 million. And then…about ten weeks later, he quit.  Just like that.  He quit.

Why did he quit?  Well, for starters, he wound up getting busted for a 2nd violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, a test result he contested but nonetheless lost when he was suspended for 100 games.

(Please see next page)

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Could Post-Steroid Era Equal Yankees Demise?

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Could Post-Steroid Era Equal Yankees Demise?

Posted on 16 May 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

The Major League Baseball season has reached the quarter pole (more or less) and so far it’s been quite a ride and realization. The AL East, despite our sincerest beliefs to the contrary remains at this point very much up for grabs with only 3 games in the loss column separating first and last place. Orioles’ fans were expecting to be moderately encouraged and summarily frustrated with their team all at once and so far that’s been the case. Improved offense however hasn’t been the case for the O’s. It can be argued (and has) that statistically, this year’s team isn’t much better than last year’s version, if at all; and while the pitching has been encouraging, lights out hardly comes to mind when assessing the O’s, whose team ERA ranks 13th in the AL as of Sunday.

The fact that the Orioles remain competitive themselves is seemingly the byproduct of luck and timing (2 proven essentials in baseball success) more than any marked improvement from last year to this. While the expectation that the bats will eventually come around and bring with them even more chances at victories is feasible, recent history suggests that things could just as easily begin to unravel as the weather begins to warm.


Even without our modest hopes for a successful season, the respective struggles of the Red Sox and Yankees have added an extra layer of enjoyment to the season so far. Safe money might suggest that market corrections of sorts may be due for both of them soon too.


The Red Sox, despite their marked improvements from last year to this and the return of a healthy regime of incumbent stars have stumbled mightily out of the gates. While it’s conceivable that their sweep of the Yankees over the weekend and return to .500 could mark the worm turning for the Sox, there are still lots of questions and potential concerns surrounding a team that many had penciled in as the AL’s best to begin the year.


And while the Yankees have probably played above the expectations that followed their most disappointing off-season in recent memory, they too may have seen the worm begin to turn at the hands of the Red Sox last weekend. The Yankees have also, so far been the beneficiaries of an inordinate number of home games to begin the season.


After missing out on a few of their apparent earmarked bounties in free agency and while seeing the Red Sox make bold moves to improve themselves at the same time, the most disappointing part of the Yankees off-season might be the lingering contentiousness that they created in negotiations with Derek Jeter. Now that some of that contentiousness may have reached the locker of Jorge Posada too, it may begin to become a bigger distraction than the team would have invited.


The Orioles once went through a bit of this themselves. As much as we might point to the ambitious spending that followed the 1999 fire sale as the ultimate demise of competitive Orioles baseball, the devolution of the 1997 team into 1998 probably went much deeper than that. The “Ripken Rules” as they were described and his preferential treatment by the team had been earned no doubt, but surely there were times over the course of the Davey Johnson era where deference to aging superstars had to supersede the best interests of the team. Not just deference to Ripken as was much publicized, but to the wealth of stars past their primes on the O’s roster at that point. Maybe the Yankees too are now reaching that point.


While we all waited and hoped against hope that the Yankees and Sox might spend themselves under the table, perhaps it’ll be other market factors that could potentially contribute to their respective downfalls…or at least their returns to Earth.


Steroids and the steroid era certainly changed baseball, and they still arguably are changing baseball. If the dramatic effect that widespread steroid use had on the game has now been realized, then surely we are entering an era where the impact of their absence is beginning to be felt as well. How that shapes the next era in baseball is anyone’s guess, but whoever figures it out first, and positions themselves on the forefront of it will see the early benefits as a result.


While we can surely measure the impact of steroids and the lack thereof from game to game and intimate the return of pitching dominance to Major League Baseball, the more important impact of the absence of steroids in baseball from a team building standpoint is likely related to career longevity. Steroids not only enabled players to put up insane homerun numbers from year to year, but they also seemingly allowed them to do it at a much more advanced age than had been previously feasible. As a result the realization of value in free agent commodities went up and so did the standard length of free agent contracts.


If we go back to 1986 or so, after baseball got their billion dollar CBS contract and $3 million contracts became the gold standard, free agency in baseball was a risky proposition. Teams who endeavored into free agency thereafter, at higher and higher prices, did so at their own risk and more often than not seemed to come up short value wise. Before Randy Johnson with the Diamondbacks and Manny Ramirez with the Red Sox, the list of big named free agents who led their teams to the Promised Land was a short one. More often back then, successful teams were built through homegrown talent and astute trades, usually capitalizing on players trying to build their resumes for free agency.


After being controlled by their original teams for 6 seasons or more under baseball’s rules, free agents reaching the market at or near 30 years old likely won’t be seeing 6 and 7-year contracts once teams begin to realize the downside of these contracts and move forward more cautiously. Surely those players can no longer be expected to have primes that extend beyond the age of 35.


While the Yankees and Red Sox are unlikely to spend themselves under the table anytime soon, the compilation of aging players, and at times the deference to their years of service over their immediate impact on the team may lead the big spenders down an interesting path in the not too distant future. The Yankees may be halfway there already. While the values being realized between the contracts of both Jeter and Posada might be enough to sink most franchises, that’s probably not the biggest issue as the Yankees see it. The fact that both are feeling slighted by their treatment in this the twilights of their respective careers threatens to be a much bigger problem than simple economics for the Yankees.


Expect A-Rod to take them down a similar path before all is said and done, and Sabathia is poised to hold the team hostage for a contract that will pay him handsomely for far longer than he projects to be effective at season’s end.


Yeah…with or without genuine expectations for their own team this season, it’s sure shaping up to be an interesting season for Orioles fans anyway; and in some way, for the future of baseball.

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< 50 words .... Tuesday, April 12th

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< 50 words …. Tuesday, April 12th

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Rex Snider

I will begin today’s blog by promoting a WNST sponsor. Yesterday afternoon, I chewed some PLOW ON gum …. and 18 hours later, I’m still awake. That stuff works …..

Manny Being Manny

A short year ago, Orioles prized prospect Manny Machado was playing high school baseball, in Florida. Today, he’s enjoying an impressive start for the Delmarva Shorebirds, going 7-15 with 7 walks, to begin the season.

Let the hype begin …..

Burying Tampa?

On the heels of Manny Ramirez’s abrupt departure, I have heard the predictions of DOOM and GLOOM for the Rays. Count me among those who disagree. Pitching still wins ballgames, and Tampa has a very good starting staff.

They’ll win at least 75 games. And I will bet on it …..

End Of The Road?

It appears that Razor Ramon (ie: Scott Hall) has one foot in the mass grave of wrestlers who died way too young. In the last month, he’s been hospitalized for overdosing on prescription drugs and he recently staggered into an independent match; needing two guys to help him into the ring.

Call Me “Coach”

Just as Jose Canseco appears on the verge of fading into obscurity, he emerges with renewed relevance. Today, he adds BASEBALL MANAGER to his resume’. He’ll skipper the Yuma Scorpions of the independent North American League, this summer.

How long ’til Ozzie secretly subs for him? NEVER …. he’s assistant coach.

Money For Nothing

I have never watched an episode of Jersey Shore. And I’m pretty confident my streak of avoiding it will continue. But, somebody is watching this cast of meatheads and bimbos. The cast just got raises to the tune of $100,000 per episode.

That’s GREAT money for behaving like a nut sack.


Yep, Albert Pujols is hitting a buck fifty thru the first ten games. No need to panic, he’ll likely hit .400 over the next dozen contests. But, can you imagine if this turned out to be a subpar season for the soon-to-be free agent?

Nah …. I can’t imagine it.

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7 Sports Figures Who Should Follow Manny Into Retirement

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of Manny Ramirez’s decision to leave baseball this weekend, today’s Tuesday Top 7 topic was “The Top 7 Sports Figures Who Should Follow Manny Into Retirement.”

Seems pretty self-explanatory to me, right?

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair


6. Jamie Moyer


5. David Beckham


4. Shaquille O’Neal


3. Evander Holyfield


2. Joe Paterno


1. Mike Krzyzewski


Drew Forrester’s list…

7. Jerry Stackhouse


6. Chipper Jones


5. Scott “Razor Ramon” Hall

4. Jamie Moyer


3. Jason Taylor


2. Mike Modano


1. Joe Paterno


If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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The premiere of my newest blog; < 50 words

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The premiere of my newest blog; < 50 words

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Rex Snider

Welcome to the trial edition of my new daily blog, < 50 words …..

Last week, I brainstormed a concept of doing a weekly blog aimed at covering a handful of people/topics, while devoting “20 words or less” to each specific subject. I enjoyed doing it and based on the emails, phone calls and Facebook comments, it appears a distinct number of readers liked it.

As mentioned in last Thursday’s piece, I have realized a growing number of readers want specific, concise blogs that do not require a lot of time. And that’s the purpose behind this concept …..

However, last Thursday’s piece also served up a pretty good lesson; it’s downright difficult to express an opinion in less than 20 words. Thus, I’m expanding the dialogue, while still committing to the objective of not overwhelming the reader.

I’m going to commit myself to this new platform for a few weeks. On a daily basis, my blog will reference 6 different people/topics, while keeping my thoughts limited to a maximum of 50 words on each of them.

The spirit of my opinions will primarily be of the lighthearted variety. After all, it’s pretty tough to be descript and opinionated in such a limited format.

I’ll still write the semi-regular typical blogs, that emphasize on delivering a strong opinion or analysis on given subjects. Trust me, I will devote several hundred words to Manny Ramirez within the next couple days.

If you like this new < 50 words format and style, let me know. Positive opinions will keep the theme alive …..

Digging A Fox-Hole

Welcome to BUCK’S DOGHOUSE. The skipper’s cryptic comments following last night’s loss, suggested the catcher called a bad game. His remarks also wiggled Jake Arrieta off the hook of accountability.

Regardless of a strong spring, I’m betting “Fox” will be advertised across the back of another jersey very soon.

He’s Baaaack

Well, he’s hinting that he’d like to make a final return to the big leagues, while finishing his career …. in Boston. In an interview with the New York Times, Pedro Martinez said he would like his HOF plaque to represent Beantown. I hope Theo Epstein gambles on him …. and loses.

Happy For Hef

Yesterday was Mr. Playboy’s 85th birthday. While he might’ve celebrated in grand fashion BACK IN THE DAY, I have difficulty imagining any drug or elixir that keeps an 85 year old awake ’til the early morning hours.

Then again, he’s made it this far while pushing the limit …..

2nd Coming Of Stephen

Well, ESPN’s Buster Olney floated out the idea, earlier today. He tweeted “Zach Britton has a chance to become what Stephen Strasburg was last year: Must-see TV” …..

Heck, I hope not. If Britton needs Tommy John surgery, by June, I’m never reading one of Buster’s columns, again.

Just When You Thought Brett Favre Was Old News

You can’t blame Brett Favre for keeping his name in conversations, but you can credit Jenn Sterger for doing it. This week, she will spill her tears to Barbara Walters in a primetime interview.

The price? According to the New York Post, ABC is giving Sterger a job. Nice, huh?

The Saga Of Manny

Millions in the bank, and HOF credentials …. but he still uses performance enhancing drugs, and gets busted a second time? Manny Ramirez needs to play a sport with easier testing restrictions.

Bet on it …. a year from today, MLB will have HGH testing and the NFL will not.

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7: Top 7 ESPN Documentaries We’d Like to Make

Posted on 15 March 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of Sunday night’s premiere of the ESPN documentary “The Fab Five”, today’s Tuesday Top 7 topic was “The Top 7 ESPN Documentaries We’d Like to Make.”

Glenn Clark’s list…

7. “The Juan Dixon Story”


6. “What happened to Andy (Roddick)?”


5. “Heroes of the Army/Navy Game”


4. “The Stunning Rise of Dana White”


3. “Barbaro’s Last Race”

2. “America’s Grey Cup: How Baltimore Accepted the CFL”


1. “The Mighty Ducks: Where Are They Now?”

Drew Forrester’s list…

7. “The Life and Times of Russian Hockey Players”

6. “Manny Being Manny: The Manny Ramirez Story”


5. “Dennis Rodman: The Worm”


4. “The True Story of Dr. Anthony Galea”


3. “The Decline of JaMarcus Russell”


2. “The Greatest Trio Since Rush: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux & John Smoltz”


1. “The Stunning Fall of Tiger Woods”


If you missed the explanation of why these players made the list on “The Morning Reaction” Tuesday on AM1570 WNST, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…


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Guerrero’s 7-year itch gets scratched in Baltimore

Posted on 05 February 2011 by Drew Forrester

Andy MacPhail finally gave in.

Perhaps it’s four years of losing and the spector of having his Baltimore tenure tied to last place and disappointing results after arriving with such hope and promise.

But MacPhail is apparently going to try and deliver a winner to Charm City before most likely moving on at the end of this season.

I don’t know if we should all say “Thank you, Andy” or “What took you so friggin’ long?” but the diehards like me who have waited so long for a competitive Orioles team just might get their wish in 2011.

It all came full-circle yesterday when word trickled out that Vlad Guerrero was heading to Baltimore, seven years after snubbing the O’s in favor of the Angels.

Better late than never, I suppose.

Vlad Guerrero the-second-time-around is still better than no Guerrero at all.  (BTW, here’s Rex Snider’s blog on the subject if you want to see how he feels about it.)

Vlad is a better hitter than Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie will ever be, period.  Heck, I can’t imagine there’s one player on the Orioles 40-man roster right now who will ever have a career-at-the-plate like Guerrero.  In case you haven’t paid attention for the last 15 years or so, here are THE NUMBERS that have made Guerrero one of baseball’s five best offensive players since 1996.  Hall of Famer?  If not, they should just stop putting people in.

So that’s the summary of Guerrero.  He’s better than either of the team’s two “younger” left fielders – even now at age 36 – and his bat is as productive as anyone the Orioles have had in…well…how about forever?

But there will be criticisms about the move.  People who fancy themselves armchair GM’s will point to the fact that the Orioles had to cough up $8 million to get a guy that no one else in the league wanted.  Some will compare the paltry $2 million that Tampa Bay forked over for Manny Ramirez and wonder how on earth the Birds got bilked out of $8 million for Guerrero.  Sharp-eyes for the game of baseball will say Guerrero is showing obvious signs of wearing down, but his abilities even at the 16-year mark of his career are far greater than Miguel Tejada or Garrett Atkins, the two “prize” signings of last winter (neither of whom made it to August 1 with the club).

Unlike the off-season of 2010 when the Birds tried to convince people they were trying by signing guys on the cheap with little or no hope of making a major impact, this off-season has been quite different.  Yes, guys like Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy are coming to town on the heels of “off” years.  Derrek Lee, like Guerrero, is older and more vulnerable than he was when the O’s tried to get him in the past.  Justin Duchscherer was the club’s marquee pitching acquisition and he threw in 5 more major league games than your’s truly over the last 2 seasons.

But guys like Lee and Guerrero and Hardy — they’re competent, HIGHLY capable players who have a history of excellence. Do they all have (continued…)

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Mike Hargrove

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Former Orioles skipper Mike Hargrove believes in Buck Showalter as manager and Peter Angelos as owner of Orioles

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Ryan Chell

With a new manager in the mix for the Orioles in Buck Showalter, and with Showalter at work over the last week  building his own personal staff, one former skipper of the Baltimore club joined WNST earlier in the week to weigh his opinion on the direction of his former team and of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

Mike Hargrove, who managed the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles in his 16-year professional baseball career, joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” this week to discuss Showalter and the state of the Orioles as well as his thoughts on the World Series.

Mike Hargrove

Hargrove managed the Orioles from 2000-2003 for four seasons, and was the team’s first high-profile manager since the team relieved Davey Johnson of his managing duties.

Hargrove recently was the manager of the Liberal BeeJays until 2009, a semi-pro summer league baseball team in Kansas-a team that has produced players like Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, Rich Harden, Astros OF Hunter Pence, Rays C Kelly Shoppach, former closer Troy Percival, and OF Scott Hairston.

He coached the team immediately after resigning his position as manager of the Seattle Mariners in 2007 despite the team having a 45-33 record and currently on a huge winning streak.

“Contractually, I cant talk about it,” Hargrove told Forrester of the mystery surrounding his departure from Seattle. “I feel a little uncomfortable talking about it.  Let’s put it this way. I never lost my passion for the game, and I really liked the players on that ballclub. They played hard, and they played to win and it was a good situation in that regard.”

His job with Liberal is one that is a little more relieving for Hargrove than his past MLB managerial jobs. When he initially signed on with the BeeJays, his wife-his agent-had Hargrove sign with the team for one season and a very bizarre rate for a salary-one dollar.

“It’s a town in Liberal, Kansas…and growing up there I was always interested in what the BeeJays were doing,” Hargrove said, who before his playing days with the Texas Rangers suited up for the BeeJays. “They won five national championships, and this number may be low, but there is something like 48-52 major league players who have come through and played.

“My wife and I were on our way back from Seattle to Cleveland in ’07 after I resigned, and we stopped by to see my relation in Texas.  Bob Carlisle, the general manager, and my wife conspire all the time anyway, and he mentioned to her in jest that if Mike would like to come back and get it back on the right track. They had really fallen on hard times, and in fact the club was real close to folding up and ceasing to exist. Sharon mentioned it to me on the way home…and I said sure I’ll do it for one year. I’ll come back and do it for one year. Obviously I wasn’t doing anything that next summer anyway.”

“I went back and enjoyed my time…and we ended up fourth in the nation and I had a blast. They asked me if I’d do it for another year, and I said I’d do it for one more year. We finished third in the nation that year, and we got the thing back on track.”

Hargrove said that he sees a lot of himself in the current manager, Buck Showalter, and he said that those Orioles fans looking for a winner have one in Buck.

“I think a big step in that direction took place over this last year with the hiring of Buck Showalter,” Hargrove said. “You saw how Buck made a difference in how the Orioles played the game, and the success they had on the field.”

Buck Showalter

In a way, the transition that Showalter is going through now is similar to his tenure here in Baltimore in the early part of the decade. After the cleaning of house of the previous organization, Hargrove-who enjoyed a ton of success as manager of the Cleveland Indians including five straight playoff appearances-said on top of not being left with much to work with, the young players on the roster kept getting hurt during the four seasons Hargrove was in the dugout for the Orioles.

“At that time I just felt like the team was getting old…(continued),

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