Showalter's sermon: 'If we can get in, I feel real good about this group' -
Dan Connolly

Showalter’s sermon: ‘If we can get in, I feel real good about this group’

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Buck Showalter’s post-game press conferences are usually pretty similar.

A question about the starting pitcher, a pointed inquiry or two about a certain play or decision in the game, and some give-and-take with the Orioles manager, who often veers toward a different course while providing a few solid sound bites.

The detailed talk, the philosophy of things, is usually left for his pre-game conversations.

But Wednesday night, after the Orioles lost 5-1 to the Boston Red Sox and have now dropped five of seven on this crucial homestand, Showalter bit on a few of the questions about what’s going wrong right now.

“Our guys are really pushing. They’re pushing,” Showalter said. “Sometimes you can really want something too much and you can’t take that away from them. The want-to is always there for our guys and it can be a deterrent. You get into a situation like this where they know what’s going on with the math of the season. So it’s tough to say they don’t care, OK?”

The Orioles entered this series three games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. They had a puncher’s chance of grabbing the division crown if they could sweep the series or win three of four.

That wouldn’t be impossible, right? I mean, they did win two of three at Fenway last week, and their rotation was set up for Boston. And the Orioles are much better at home than on the road.

But the offense has scored just five runs in these three games. Now six games behind the Red Sox, the Orioles are in jeopardy of dropping out of a Wild Card spot as several teams are surging with 10 to play.

“We talk about it every day. When there’s more season left you know someone’s going to pay down the line,” Showalter said. “We’ve seen that. But when you’re in a situation like this, no one feels sorry for you. They want to step on your neck while you’re down. We did it to (Boston). Now they’re trying to do it to us. It doesn’t get any easier.”

Showalter’s news conference had a little pep talk aspect to it that it hasn’t had in recent days. Sort of, “I know it looks bad, but this isn’t over” kind of vibe.

It was strange because Showalter avoids those kinds of sentiments throughout the year. The eye is always on the prize and, on any given night, you can’t tell if his team is winning or losing, up 10 games or down 10 games, based on his comments.

But Wednesday night was a little different.

Wednesday night it seemed like Showalter was delivering a message to the media, to the fans, and maybe to his players.

In his own way, he was admitting that things may look bleak. But he also was stressing that the season isn’t over.

“We talked some today and they talk among themselves all the time. It’s a very look in the mirror team,” Showalter said. “I’m very proud of these guys. I’ve got a long memory. They’ll get it going here. If we can get in (the playoffs), I feel real good about this group. That’s what we’re trying to do.”



  1. OsFanStuckInNY

    September 22, 2016 at 7:39 am

    The problem, all year long, is that this lineup can’t handle playoff quality pitching, and their starting pitching is like delving into a box of Gump’s Chocolates.

    But with so many bashers and a great bullpen, ya never know…so I tune in to every game — until I just can’t stomach to watch the train wreck any longer, like last night.

    They went 47-30 through their historic June home run display, 35-40 since, even though they’ve had better starting pitching. A team of great guys trying their dead level best. So much talent. So much frustration.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      All fair points.

  2. OsFanStuckInNY

    September 22, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I’d really hoped that the Wieters pickoff throw, immediately followed by swing-and-a-miss strike three on Ortiz would be THE pivotal moment in the season: the spark that finally fired the entire arsenal. The bottom of the lineup then proceeded to load the bases. Top of the order! Long long long overdue. Here we go!!
    Lazy fly ball sac fly…fizzle…..sputter……dead.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hey. At least there was a sac fly in there. Baby steps.

  3. Bancells Moustache

    September 22, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Call me Chicken Little or whatever, but Buck saying “IF we can get into this thing” sounds like the far weightier part of the quote than the “I feel real good about this group” portion.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      I thought both parts were pretty telling.

  4. eddienj

    September 22, 2016 at 11:07 am

    We have a measly +17 run ratio and we’re one ahead for the final WC. We are fortunate if you look at the season as a whole. 10 to go and we’re ahead 1. Nothing to do but cheer like hell for these 10 games.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      If you look at the season as a whole though what you see is a bunch of peaks and valleys. With that kind of team, you don’t know which landscape is on the horizon.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I’m wondering if the players feel as beat down as I do?

    • Bancells Moustache

      September 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      It can’t be very good for morale, getting rolled by a division opponent in a half empty stadium. But like I’ve always said, that’s why there’s no mercy rule in the pros; when you are getting paid 7, 8 and even 9 figures to play a sport, you take your ass whipping until it’s over.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 22, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      I will say this. I’m in the clubhouse all the time and there is no panic. No finger-pointing. There is some frustration but I think they all believe they are making the playoffs. Will be a huge disappointment to them if they don’t.

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