Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buck Showalter is made of magic and knows how to create ponies out of thin air

Either that, or he's just another MLB manager who might be able to affect his team's record by a win or two over the course of a season. He's got a career "winning" percentage (quotation marks used because managers almost never win or lose anything) that's above .500 mostly because of a single awesome season with the Diamondbacks in 1999. He's had some ups, some downs, and mostly just talked a lot more than he should. But don't tell any of that to's Hal Bodley, who has written a opus to managerial skill that's pretty sad.

Buck Showalter has the Orioles playing better than they have in eons, which reminds me of a conversation I had with George Steinbrenner years ago, discussing the talents of the manager.

Ah, George Steinbrenner, foremost authority on managers and how to handle them.

"I've never seen anybody more prepared, more detailed," Steinbrenner said. "He might be a little intense, but he never leaves anything to chance. He always has a plan and despises mistakes."

"Which is why I ran his ass out of town after four seasons."

Showalter grew up in the Yankees organization, where he spent 19 years. He managed them from 1992 until he resigned in '95,

Yielding the reins to Joe Torre and then seeing the Yankees win 4 of the next 5 World Serieseseses. I don't want to contradict my point by saying that Torre was the reason for all that postseason success, I just wanted to point out the double-wrongness of this article. Not only do managers not do much, but by all appearances Showalter isn't even a very good one.

After that, Showalter had managerial stops with the D-backs

Who won the World Series the year after he left town. Same point.

and Rangers,

Where he did exactly nothing in four years except piss off Ozzie Guillen.

but this assignment with Baltimore could be the most important of his career.

The two game difference he might be worth if he's an awesome manager will mean the most in taking Balitmore from 71 to 73 wins this year!

The numbers have been repeated many times, but after Showalter took over as manager on Aug. 3, he guided the Orioles to a 34-23 record, behind only the Twins and Phillies for the best record in the Majors during that period.

Which is relevant because those three teams went on to face each other in a three-way World Series showdown, the first of its kind. Who won? You guessed it: the Yankees.

The 34 wins in 57 games were more than previous 2010 managers Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel compiled in 105 games.

I'll admit that a midseason switch gives a little insight into managerial skill since most of the players are the same throughout the course of the year. On the other hand 1) the Orioles weren't going to play .300 ball all season, that's almost impossible for any MLB team to do 2) just because they got better under Showalter doesn't mean they wouldn't have gotten better under ANY new manager 3) managers don't do that much 4) Showalter is a loudmouthed idiot.

Showalter has a special managerial magic that has been contagious in the Orioles' clubhouse.


Throughout Spring Training, he kept preaching that it was important to build on the success of the last weeks of 2010 -- continue the momentum, so to speak.


The thing about the Orioles this spring is that all facets of the game have improved. Hitters are driving in runners more frequently with two outs,

That's all Buck right there.

the young pitchers are showing more poise,

Or they're pitching better, which is certainly 100% Buck.

the defense is better

Because of Buck.

and the team is playing with much more confidence.

Non-sarcastically, that might be 20% attributable to Buck.

Showalter should take much of the credit.

Triple barf.


Biggus Rickus said...

He may not be very good, but I'd still rather the Braves have hired him than Fredi Gonazlez, who said so many dumb things in defense of batting his best hitter 6th that he could have been Dusty Baker. I miss Bobby Cox.

dan-bob said...


rondoman said...

Oh yeah how about those O's now huh?

7 straight losses?

Showalter must forgot how to manage...

SOB in CA said...

There's a crappy write-up about baseball biggest brain, or some-such bullcrap, in Men's Health or Men's Fitness. Got a good sneer about Epstein getting Crawford. "You paid the most money. That's not rocket science." Dumbass. If you have the money you still have to spend it wisely.

Adam said...

The first few weeks of the baseball season are so insignificant relative to the attention paid to them. I swear most people get so excited for baseball and pay attention to every game then stop watching by mid-May.

Inevitably there is one or two crap-ass teams that get off to a hot start and some moron is declaring THE INDIANS ARE FOR REAL. THE ORIOLES ARE FOR REAL. Ok well, let's see how real they are in September.