Dear Buck Showalter: One bad night in Toronto cemented your Orioles legacy

October 03, 2018 | Nestor Aparicio

players MacPhail left behind for you.

You “played the game” with Mr. Angelos since the summer of 2010 and have a lot of money and a nice chunk of success to show for it.

But what did you really learn during this summer of 115 lossess?

Probably that you don’t want to continue to “play the game” with Brady and Mr. Angelos’ good-looking sons.

Hell, you’ve been here eight years and you STILL don’t know who is in charge any more than Rob Manfred, Ken Rosenthal or anyone else trying to get clear communication and a legitimate managerial strategy from the Baltimore Orioles.

It’s a miracle you won baseball games here. It really is…

So, while all of the “THANK YOU BUCK” stuff is a little trite for my tastes, you did something that no one did before and no one might do after you’re gone – you won baseball games and gave the fans as much “hope” as you did the players.

When you had the tools in your bullpen and the bats in your lineup and the gloves in the field, you conducted an orchestra playing baseball music that we hadn’t heard in this city in almost two decades.

Cue the horns…

“Something magic happens…”

I know you can’t see it – but that’s the hair standing up on the back of my neck. And the sound of the Delmon Young double…

Buck, I honestly never thought I’d stand in Camden Yards for a playoff game again while Peter Angelos owned the Orioles. It took 15 years and I spilled a lot of my own personal and professional blood on the bricks in front of Camden Yards so it was gratifying to get the result we always wanted at WNST – a competitive baseball team that gives Baltimore Orioles fans something to cheer for on the field. And something that resembled “local pride” in a torn city and battered community.

So, today is a personal “thank you” to you, Buck – and to all of the Baltimore Orioles players who gave us thrills in recent summers and kept us “old time” baseball fans up late – tweeting, nodding, yawning, screaming, high-fiving, drinking, eating late and loving the “you just never know” aspect of the great American game.

Sure, it helped that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox spent past their means and didn’t have their farm systems percolating, which opened the door. It helped that Andy MacPhail had fleeced the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers before you arrived. It helped that you had rising stars like Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton and Chris Davis in the pipeline, residue from all of the losing and mismanagement. And I won’t bring up Jake Arrieta or Pedro Strop or any of the rest of the little sins of omission.

But there’s no honest or educated baseball fan who doesn’t realize that none of the success would’ve happened if you didn’t somehow see “piledivers” within the framework of the Baltimore Orioles and take this job in 2010.

Joe Girardi declined and had a better path. Bobby Valentine laughed in their faces and then was laughed out of Boston. You had no other options and somehow decided this was your best option in life in 2010.

I called you crazy.

So did most of your friends.

But you made it work – and work well – for a long time.

You did yourself and the baseball fans of our community proud.

The trips to New York for the playoffs were legendary and you had a real chance in Game 5 that night in The Bronx. For me, that was the one that got away.

The Delmon Young “magic,” the trip to Kansas City and those nights at Camden Yards with red, white and blue bunting will always be a part of Orioles lore.

Every night you made it interesting and channeled the ghost of Earl