Farrell's firing in Boston accentuates the longevity Showalter has had with Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Farrell’s firing in Boston accentuates the longevity Showalter has had with Orioles

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Whenever a major league manager is canned — like Boston’s John Farrell was Wednesday — it gives me pause.

I’ve covered several managerial firings – Mike Hargrove, Lee Mazzilli, Sam Perlozzo, Dave Trembley — and it’s never fun.

It also makes me realize how long Buck Showalter has been at the helm of the Orioles now.

I haven’t had to cover a managerial hiring or firing in more than seven years. And that’s pretty remarkable, given that these are the Orioles and this is Showalter.

Consider in the seven previous seasons before Showalter took over the Orioles in Aug. 2010, the club had four managers.

When the Orioles hired Showalter, his reputation after three other big league stops was that he didn’t stick with one team particularly long. Well, that’s no longer the case.

Showalter has now managed more games in modern franchise history than any other Oriole besides Hall of Famer Earl Weaver. He just finished his seventh full season with the club and eighth consecutive in which he’s held the title of Orioles manager.

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The significance of Showalter’s longevity goes beyond this franchise.

He’s the second longest tenured manager in the American League East, fourth in the AL and fifth in the majors. The only ones who have been with their current teams longer are Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Scioscia, San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy, the New York Yankees’ Joe Girardi and Kansas City’s Ned Yost, who was hired about two months before Showalter in 2010.

Those other four, of course, have won World Series titles with their clubs – and Showalter hasn’t gotten to the big dance in his career. But Farrell won a ring managing the Red Sox, and now he’s looking for a job after Boston failed to advance to the second round of the playoffs this year.

The AL East has been a rather stable place for managers in the past few years. Before Farrell, the last switch was in 2014, when Joe Maddon left Tampa Bay for the Chicago Cubs, and the Rays hired Kevin Cash, who now is heading into his fourth season as a big league skipper.

Since Showalter was hired, the Yankees have had one manager, the Rays have had two, the Toronto Blue Jays have had three and the Red Sox are working on their fourth.

Who could have imagined 10 years ago that the Orioles would have one of the more stable managerial situations in baseball?

Of course, Showalter’s contract expires after next season, so things could change soon.

But, this offseason, several teams are looking for a new manager. And the Orioles, again, aren’t one of them.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Fergy015

    October 12, 2017 at 7:49 am

    There is a whole lot more pressure to win in Boston with all the $$$$ they spend on the whole team. If the Orioles spent money on quality pitching like Boston did imagine what Buck could do.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      October 12, 2017 at 8:01 am

      ditto that

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      I’d agree on what Showalter could do w better starting pitching. But I’m not sure the money spent by Boston in starting pitching is a chest-thumping point. Most of their starters were acquired via trade. The money they’ve put out for free agent pitching has more often than not been example of why it is a big risk.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

    As far as the Farrell firing … and keeping the Machado/Pedroia dustup in mind … good riddance to one of the true jerks in the league. Let them eat fried chicken in Boston!!

    As far as Buck’s longevity is concerned, I’m not sure we could have found a better fit to guide a Peter Angelos/Dan Duquette team. He’s done a lot with what he’s had to work with. (so has Duquette in my opinion) Although Showalter has had quite a lineup to work with, this team is more than flawed in what they’ve had to put on the mound since his arrival. Discounting the call to Ubaldo in last year’s playoff game, what success they HAVE had in that area, is in no small part due to Bucks expert handling of the staff.

    If you’re an O’s fan, you just gotta love this guy!

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Ubaldo bullpen aside, he is excellent at handling a bullpen for a full season. That’s probably what impresses me the most.

  3. Osfan73

    October 12, 2017 at 8:33 am

    There’s something to be said for organizational stability, both on the field and with management. Consider the successes of the above named managers and their longevity. And although it’s different sports look at the Patriots vs the Browns as well. With leadership stability incoming players know what to expect. I would think it’d be more difficult, at least mentally, to perform under constantly differing coaching styles and philosophies. Bucks done well here for the most part and I for one am glad he has stuck with the Os this long.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Yep. I mean you can make the argument that the biggest problem from a leadership standpoint is a continual change of pitching coaches under Showalter.

  4. Orial

    October 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

    The timing and content of your article Dan is very interesting being that Buck’s heading to Philly is being speculated on numerous sports outlets everywhere but in Baltimore.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      I’m afraid Orial you have been the unfortunate victim of aggregate clickbait. There’s been nothing new on Buck to Philly since I wrote my piece the first day of the Mackanin firing. He looks to be a fit, but because of the contractual situation he’s not.

  5. GSISDANNO

    October 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

    John Farrell’s days were numbered in Boston. With David Price and all his drama, the Red Sox are somewhat dysfunctional. I think David Ortiz ran that club until this season. The Pedroia-Machado issue is a good example. Pedroia, the longest tenured player on the team, said it wasn’t intentional. Yet, Farrell allowed his pitchers to throw at Machado anyway. Can you imagine if Girardi or Buck or Masson told his pitchers not to throw at someone? What would happen if they did anyway? Farrell may not have condoned it but he sure allowed it.
    Then, there was the David Price incident with Dennis Eckersley. Price is a jerk and the manager never told him or any if his teammates to apologize to Eckersley. In fact, Farrell tried to ignore the situation.
    The Red Sox will be better off without Farrell. Maybe he will return to Toronto where he will be a better fit.

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      I do agree that the days seemed numbered. But have to admit I’m a little surprised that number is up now.

  6. Wade Warren

    October 12, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I hope Showwalter is kept and given another contract in Baltimore

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      I can’t predict beyond 2018. Too many variables. But I’d be surprised if anything changes before then.

  7. PA Bird Lover

    October 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    It is surprising, at least to me that PA has kept Buck around, since he hasn’t guided the O’s to the WS. Peter, early on, was burning to get to the WS. What I wonder is where that strong desire is hiding? Is it ALL about money with him, especially since speculation has it that he has billions stashed. If he still desires a WS ring, he needs to open the vault to get really talented pitchers. Which is it he most desires, a champion or more money?

    • Dan Connolly

      October 12, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Well, maybe Showalter hasn’t gotten to a WS but he was the leader of a franchise turnaround. That cant be overlooked by anyone. As for spending on pitching, well you better be sure you are buying the right guy. How much better would the Orioles be if they had the 2017 version of David Price at $30 million?

    • PA Bird Lover

      October 13, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Well Dan, first, I personally am not degrading Buck, perhaps I didn’t clarify. I’m not surprised the organization hung on to Buck because in my view, he may be the best for our Birds. My point was and still is that PA is /was an impatient owner. Perhaps he’s mellowing. Of course you are right about David Price. That can happen to any player, like Davis or Trumbo.

  8. deqalt

    October 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Please tell me what I am missing. Why is there not a sense of urgency to resign Buck? One of the best managers in all of baseball. These type managers are hard to find! People seem lukewarm about it. He is a genius with the bullpen. No one is winning with the rotation the Orioles have had. Who do you want guiding this team when Manny, Britton, and maybe Jones are gone? This crazy no one is as worried about it like we are with Manny leaving.

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