Tap-In Question: Do you want Buck Showalter managing 2019 Orioles? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: Do you want Buck Showalter managing 2019 Orioles?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Hope you had a great July 4th.

Incidentally, it was also Peter Angelos’ 89th birthday.

Just thought you should know.

This seems like it’s a good time to bring up the elephant in the Tap Room.

It’s been my belief for years that Angelos and Orioles manager Buck Showalter basically had an understanding that Showalter could be the club’s field manager for as long as he wanted.

Since Showalter has said repeatedly in the past year that he wants to keep managing this club, my belief has been that Showalter isn’t a lame-duck manager with an expiring contract, but instead one who just hasn’t officially signed a new extension for 2019 and beyond.

It makes plenty of sense since executive vice president Dan Duquette also has an expiring contract and the Orioles don’t typically punt executives mid-season. Angelos has always preferred to let contracts run out instead of administering a firing.

An announced extension in-season for Showalter would, in a sense, be a smack to Duquette. Therefore, I never envisioned that Showalter’s contract would officially be addressed until the current one expires. I figured no drama would occur, though, unless Showalter, at 62, decided he had had enough.

(For the record, I’ve never bought the “Showalter-to-the-front-office rumors. He is a smart man and could handle various tasks, but his skill set is specifically built for managing.)

There are a few developments, however, that are making me think that maybe Showalter isn’t as safe as I originally thought.

One, Angelos isn’t as involved in daily decisions anymore. His sons have burgeoning power, so any tacit agreement between Showalter and the Angelos family patriarch may not be as staunch as previously believed.

Two, vice president Brady Anderson’s influence has risen exponentially, to the point that I firmly believe he is the safest among all Orioles’ non-playing personnel during this disaster of a campaign. And though Anderson and Showalter seem to have a good working relationship – seemingly better, anyway, than the one between Showalter and Duquette – Anderson can be hard to read.

If he’s making the calls, maybe he wants his own guy, maybe someone younger or, frankly, someone a little more pliable than the established Showalter.

Then there’s the trend that when things go south, a new voice and direction are needed. Showalter is in his ninth season at the helm of this club, second longest tenure in franchise history and longest tenure of Showalter’s career.

It’s been a successful marriage, but maybe it is time to part ways.

The flip side, though, is Showalter is the second winningest Orioles skipper (behind only Hall of Famer Earl Weaver) and he deserves major credit for turning this franchise around. He is 24th all-time on the sport’s managerial wins list and is fourth among active managers (behind Bruce Bochy, Mike Scioscia and Terry Francona). Showalter has more career wins now than Weaver (in three more seasons, however).

The point is the Orioles could get a different skipper in 2019, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll get a better one than Showalter.

That’s not always the deciding factor, though. And, because this season has been so thoroughly terrible, Showalter is being criticized by fans more than I’ve ever heard in the past.

So that brings me to this potentially explosive question directly after Independence Day.

Tap-In Question: Do you want Buck Showalter managing the 2019 Orioles?

100 Comments

100 Comments

  1. Rusty Trumbo

    July 5, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Tough one – I know he isn’t perfect but he’s not the problem here. We had a revolving door of pretty horrendous managers prior to him. It’s very unlikely we’ll attract anyone better so they almost have go the younger route you suggest.

    The question to me is; Is Buck up for a rebuild and new house full of kids? He might be better suited for a vet ballclub that is ready to win now or he may prefer Front Office role. Regardless of how terrible they end up this year, Buck should have no problem finding employment if he wants it.

    If it were me, I would not want to hang it up with 120+ loss season (yes it’s that bad)

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 7:41 am

      I think he’d be up for the challenge. It’s more about whether a different voice is needed/ desired.

  2. general81

    July 5, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Yes, I would like to see him back, but with a caveat – IF the Orioles go all-in at the trade deadline and move a bunch of players for a bunch of new players. I fear Buck’s message is not resonating as it once was, and his voice may not be as respected as in the past – and I have read and heard rumblings saying essentially the same thing.

    If we have (basically) a new team with (hopefully) young players new to the majors and/or the Orioles, I think his message would resonate more. It would basically give him a chance to start over and build the team he wants.

    And you didn’t really ask, but I could see someone like Matt Wieters or Caleb Joseph being groomed to eventually become a manager, provided they are willing to hang up their playing spikes.

    • Rusty Trumbo

      July 5, 2018 at 7:30 am

      I agree his message may be getting stale with some guys.

      One thing that worries me about Buck returning is Chris Davis/Coolbaugh.
      It doesn’t seem these guys are capable of getting Davis back on track something that has to be a priority for the new regime

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 7:43 am

      I’m not sure one man gets Davis back. I mean, except Davis. But I get your thoughts.

  3. PA Bird Lover

    July 5, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Yes, Dan, Yes.

  4. ATCguy

    July 5, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Oh boy… here we go. That depends…

    The question in my mind is (and has been)… does Buck still have complete control of the lineup card, and the roster of personnel he’s been given? Or, is he being told he HAS to continue playing/using certain personnel, regardless of their performance and/or adherence to game plans?

    If it’s the latter… which I sometimes suspect… then it really doesn’t matter who’s wearing the manager hat. The position is merely a figurehead, as it seems to be becoming many teams. But if it’s the former… well then I gotta wonder.

    I don’t believe a good manager suddenly forgets how to manage. We all know they can only work with what they’re given… and while a manager might have input into player acquisitions & departures, that’s not their realm of control. And as the saying goes, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

    One needs only to look north for a great example. While Brett Boone may have been a decent player in his day, are we to really believe he’s a great manager in his rookie year half-way thru the season because the Yankees are leading the AL? No, of course not. Hellen Keller could win at the helm with that roster. So then is the reverse not also true?

    I’ve always thought of Buck as a good teacher, but also as a disciplinarian… until lately. But there seems to be no consequences for sub-par performance. If there’s a game plan against various pitchers, it sure doesn’t seem like it… because the majority of the hitters keep doing the same things game after game. Swinging early in the count, very little patience at the plate, swinging for the fences. It ain’t working, yet there’s no consequences. The same players are trotted out each day to repeat the process.

    I’m reminded of Terry Collin’s infamous rant to the press in 2016 during his tenure as Mets manager that ended with “…we’re going to get after it. And those that don’t want to get after it, I’ll find some who do. Because in Las Vegas there is a whole clubhouse of guys that want to sit in this room…” and wondered why that type of message doesn’t come from Buck?

    If it’s because he knows he doesn’t have that power, then again, it doesn’t matter who wears the hat.

    If he does, yet chooses not to exercise it… well then, maybe it is time for someone new. As a fan, I’ll probably never know the real answer to that question… but that’s my read on it.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Solid take. I would say he has control of the 25-man roster to an extent. I don’t think he’s told who he has to play and where. But I do think there are some things out of his control.

  5. pzinder

    July 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Absolutely. In fact, if he’s let go, I’ll be more disgusted than I’ve ever been with the team’s performance through the years. This season’s situation is not Buck’s fault, on any level. We need a new voice in the front office, not in the dugout. (I’m stunned that Brady Anderson has any say at all on major team moves. He really needs to stick to the weight room.)

    The question is, does Buck want to stay? The rumors of his interest in a front office gig have baffled me. If that’s true, how would anyone know now? I hope he’s extended for five years. Buck rocks.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:09 am

      If he stays it’s in the dugout. I don’t see it otherwise. Not yet anyway.

      • pzinder

        July 5, 2018 at 10:47 am

        Thanks for your response, Dan. I hope you’re right. I’d like to see him in the dugout for years to come. The change must come elsewhere.

        Do you have any sense of a reduction of power for Brady? If it’s true that he was a major voice behind the signing of Cobb and that he will be on future moves, I’m more disturbed than I can possibly explain.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:44 am

      I see only an increase in Anderson’s influence. And potentially his visibility as a mover and shaker.

  6. SpinMaster

    July 5, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Yesterday, I theorized about Dan Duquette and his being a figure head and now it does seem like Buck might be in a similar position. But, if so who is calling the shots. Buck says all the right things (albeit the same things) after each disappointing lose. You do get little snippets on MASN that he is not pleased with the lack of hitting/scoring but nothing seems to change. We all know the meaning of “insanity”.
    I would think that Buck would like to have a dugout full of hungry, young players who play the game the “right” way. He would also have to have control of the lineup, which may be the telling blow if he departs.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

      No question he is frustrated. As frustrated as I’ve seen him anyway.

  7. twomooks

    July 5, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Obviously, a whole lot needs to happen to get the team on track. I know I am biased because I am a huge Buck fan, but I truly don’t believe he’s the problem. I’d like to see him back and would be really disgusted if they got rid of him. Buck is a brilliant baseball mind and I get the feeling his hands have been tied a bit and it has come out in the results this season. I believe in Buck.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:11 am

      I think the hands have been tied more by the personnel than by any directive.

  8. boss61

    July 5, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Someone else commented on his having “lost the clubhouse” and i think that occurred with bullpen management in the 2016 wild card game. Wieters basically said as much, once no longer an Oriole. So who might be the other critics? I keep thinking of Adam Jones. This brings me to…

    Either/or. If Jones is back (something I do not advocate; we see age-related defensive skills decline almost nightly) its probably time for a new manager. If Jones moves on (which I fully support), I’d wholly want Buck to re-up.

    I also think its time for a team President. That guy is Brady Anderson. Duquette may be offered a new contract as a VP/GM, answerable to Brady. In DD’s shoes, I’d think hard about the loss of stature and independence.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 9:12 am

      I agree on Anderson. I think he is the future team president.

  9. TxBirdFan

    July 5, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I’ve always liked Buck but believe it’s time to turn over a new leaf. Yes he’s won a lot of games and yes he was a big reason for the turnaround, but his time has come and gone. He doesn’t seem as hungry anymore and some of his game decisions have become questionable – unlike in his earlier years. I just don’t see him willing and able to bring this team up from the cellar.

    He’s starting to remind me of Sparky Anderson – a great manager who hung around a few seasons too long.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      Again, I’m not sure the hunger has faded. This is a baddddd team.

  10. garyintheloo

    July 5, 2018 at 9:16 am

    The same old excuses every night. It is like waiting in the roadway for that big truck to flatten you. Buck was a Godsend when he accepted the managing job amid great skepticism from his peers (Valentine, anyone?) but I now believe it is time to move on totally within the organization from top to bottom. This has been overdue since Encarnacion’s home run.

  11. KyleGrantham

    July 5, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I waver a bit here because there certainly needs to be some change. His assistant coaches – namely hitting and pitching – have been a disaster for most of the run. Adair was ruining Arrieta. Dave Wallace was apparently fed up with something in the club because he went from walking away from baseball to immediately taking a job. McDowell hasn’t shown he can help anyone make adjustments. Similarly, Coolbaugh doesn’t seem capable of fixing anyone. Every year we hear the Orioles will be more aggressive on the base paths, every year they’re last in steals, first in K’s.

    But, at the same time I remember how HORRID the run of managers were for this club for 12 years between Davie Johnson and Buck, and there’s a lot to be said for how much Buck is able to wring every drop of talent out of a player who is willing to work. Look at guys like Valencia as a prime example.

    I think the changes this club needs are way more concentrated in the front office. The GM through the scouting department need work, big time. From the total apathy to the international market and mismanagement of that allocation money to the inability to draft a healthy pitching prospect, the minors are barren. Which leads us to the other major problem of retaining talent or even basic communication. Jones has no idea what their plan is for him four weeks before the deadline. How many other players who hit free agency recalled receiving no contact from the club at all? The hang ups on fourth or option years for guys like Cruz and Markakis who are still raking. And all that on top of the incredible shortsightedness in trades bringing in rentals while shipping out top prospects. It’s hard to blame Showalter for where the club is when there’s been a massive erosion of the foundation by those above him. How can the players produce their best when they have no trust in upper management? How can Showalter be expected to inspire a team that knows they won’t be a team in a few months?

    I’d bring Showalter back on a 3-year deal, maybe with a mutual option, but I’d condition it on changes to the staff.

    But at the same time, none of that matters if the front office doesn’t change dramatically. He’ll still be piloting a ship that has no prop.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Good, well-reasoned post. Drink chip.

    • Ekim

      July 5, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      I’ve been calling out Coolbaugh (definitely NOT cool!) and McDowell since I found this site. Finally found someone who agrees with me. I feel somewhat vindicated.

    • StumptownOsFan

      July 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      I agree!

      If the roster and strategy are indeed built around home runs, then it is completely perplexing why Scott Coulbaugh is still around. Orioles hitters have been uneven to poor since the all-star break of 2016. It seems natural to make a change and bring in a new hitting coach to try to get the bats going.

      I think the same problem exists on the pitching side. We haven’t seen any evidence that McDowell is effective helping to improve pitchers.

      I also feel like Buck might be too one dimensional in his approach, and unwilling to take a new approach. The Oriole’s don’t steal. Even when they should! Meanwhile, Buck seems less likely to use pinch hitters and runners in key situations than other managers today.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:47 am

      I get it guys. I just don’t think pitching or hitting coaches on the MLB level have the influence you guys suggest. They are there to help with work and approach and mechanics. But there is no way to replicate what a batter sees and feels in a big league game for instance. The coaches play a part, sure. But not as much as fans often think. They aren’t calling plays.

  12. ATCguy

    July 5, 2018 at 9:33 am

    One other thing, Dan… there are, of course, Parts 2 & 2a to this question:

    If not Buck, then who… and why?

    But I guess those could be topics for a subsequent Tap Room discussion.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Sure. The why is well-documented. But The Who will be interesting.

  13. Orial

    July 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

    That to me is the million dollar question going forward. I love Buck. Always have,always will(I know-sounds mushy) but his approach may be a little too “Old school”. I guess what I’m saying is it may be time to move on. When I think of the Orioles of the last ten years it’s not Jones I think of or Manny–it’s Buck. So I reluctantly say–NO. But I love ya Buck. Side note–no Billy,no Brady,no Rick. Fresh face,fresh approach,fresh ideas.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      I think it would be a fresh face of the time comes

  14. CharlesVillageChris

    July 5, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Tough one here. There’s still things Buck does very well. He knows how to manage a bullpen. Even this year the bullpen hasn’t been terrible. He doesn’t roll over for the bigger teams, and is willing to play the villain against them. Don’t think either one is easy. I can name a half dozen Orioles managers that couldn’t do either.

    On the flip side, his loyalty is a double edged sword. Adam Jones said an ideal Showalter lineup is 9 guys who play around 150 games a season. That doesn’t leave much wiggle for other players to distinguish themselves. Every season or so there will be a player that has to scrape and fight for infrequent playing time, thinking Hyun Soo Kim, Jake Fox, Felix Pie, and yes even Jake Arrieta. It also means players that should be benched wind up playing for weeks longer than they should.

    I guess I’m ambivalent about it. I want Showalter to get a ring here but at this point I’d like just a WS in general.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      Fair enough. And yes his loyalty works for him and against him.

  15. whiterose

    July 5, 2018 at 9:48 am

    nonononono
    Bringing Buck back would be the biggest mistake since the Glenn Davis trade. Should have been fired after the wildcard game. The game has passed him by. New GM should hire new Mgr.
    New young blood is needed.

    • whiterose

      July 5, 2018 at 9:50 am

      dont know why this posted twice

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      No worries. Double the passion.

    • Jacobs1928

      July 6, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      I agree with you 100%…Showalter has chosen bad coaches, the O,s should add young from the owner to the G.M to the Manager…they should use their trades to
      Get good players in the aaa and aa leagues…field a young team that can grow like
      The Astros…Get an exOriole to manage…Some one who has been involved with
      The O’s thru t.v. Or other means those who stayed around Baltimore and were
      Winners…lay down a plan to build a new young team and let the supporters
      Know the plan.

  16. Creatively09

    July 5, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I feel this would turn out like the Nick Markakis situation turned out if we didn’t bring Buck back. You’d end up wasting lots of time trying to find a new manager for the club, and probably go through a couple in a couple seasons. No new manager would have the leash that Buck does/did. Meanwhile Buck would probably go manage somewhere else, and the Orioles would continue to be stuck in a losing rut. At the end of the day, you’d have been better off with Buck the whole time.

    • Orial

      July 5, 2018 at 11:10 am

      That’s a good point. They can try like Hell to find a replacement. But are you really gonna find a better option?

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      One of Buck’s strengths is that he manages like he’s there for a season. So many before him managed like it was the final game of the World Series every night

  17. Chewy

    July 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Need to keep Buck no matter what. He is still one of the best managers in the game. We all knew that a rebuild was likely coming either this year or next year. So Buck can’t really be faulted for the losing.

    I also think out of all people, Brady fully understands the value of Buck because he has a lot of the same qualities as a former successful manager of the O’s that turned Brady’s career around, Johnny Oates.

    Before Oates came to town, Brady was batting at best around .230 and wasn’t playing regularly. In Oates’ first full year as manager, he decided that the only way to know if Brady could be good is to play him everyday. Brady responded with an all-star year with an OPS of .823 and 53 SB. Brady knows better than anyone that the only way to get out of a slump, even if it’s long, is to play everyday. That is what Buck does consistently with his players and most of the time he gets the most out of his players because of that. And when the player doesn’t succeed with constant at-bats, it is best evidence of the ceiling of the player.

    The other thing Buck does very similar to Oates is that he manages the marathon of the season over the battle of the day. Oates would always get asked why he didn’t bring in certain relievers in a game when the match-ups made the most sense and he would respond by saying that he is more interested in winning the war of the season over potential overuse of certain bullpen guys. He might be risking losing the battle of the game a little more, but it would pay off if they could win the war of the season. Buck does the same exact thing.

    In the three full seasons (’92-’94) that Oates was the manager, the O’s had a winning record each year, which was a major accomplishment with the O’s having only one really good year (the ’89 Why Not team) since the ’83 team. The momentum led to the playoff teams in ’96 and ’97. Brady was a part of all those teams. Brady’s OBA remained over .350 every year from Oates’ first full season until Brady’s last year as an Oriole. I think Brady understands better than anyone the value of Buck and the value of consistency, based on Brady’s playing (and winning) experience with Oates.

    • Birdman

      July 5, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Some folks think that there may have been other factors that contributed to Brady’s improvement.

      • Chewy

        July 5, 2018 at 11:35 am

        Those potential factors that contributed to more power were after Oates was gone.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Incidentally, Oates managed Buck in the Yankees system and is considered among his biggest influences. It’s why he wears 26.

  18. hamcosine

    July 5, 2018 at 10:10 am

    If Buck goes, well anyone want to come? Joe Girardi didn’t want to come lay time. Is it too much of a dumpster fire for anyone to want the job?

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      No. There are 30 jobs. The same was said in the late 1990s when it was another Dumpster fire and Mike Hargrove took the job. Before that Davey Johnson. Only 30 Jobs. Trust me.

  19. Robinson5

    July 5, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I want him back for sure ! But I think it’s very important that they take of it prior to dead line. I believe we need new pitching and hitting coaches though.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      I imagine nothing for manager/GM gets done until after the season.

  20. Dblack2508

    July 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I actually think Buck is a better manager with younger players than the more established players. Whoever gets the job , has a long road in front of them.

  21. Lookouts400

    July 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Yes to Showalter. But I think the bigger question is, do we want Duquette back? I guess it all depends on what happens at the deadline.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      I think there will be a change in the front office. Changing dynamics.

  22. Ben1

    July 5, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I would prefer him being GM/VP of operations. He is committed to winning. Not sure just what Duquette/Anderson are committed to.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      I think his strengths — handling bullpens, preparing for opposing moves — are clearly on the managerial side of the profession.

  23. arrpeebee

    July 5, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Do I *want* him back? Absolutely. Do I think he will *be* back? Let’s just say I’m not rushing to Vegas to put money on it.

    I think his work in Arizona shows he can work with a team building from the ground up, which is basically what I think the team needs to do. I think he has earned the chance to rebuild but I also think his loyalty to his staff could be his downfall like it was in NY. Also, I have concerns about the reports of him losing the clubhouse (as other have mentioned).

    What it all comes down to is what you mentioned – who are you replacing him with? Who out there is better, who is better suited for a rebuild, who can handle the particular situation that is the O’s FO with more Angelos’ than scouts (it seems)?

    Maybe Ray Miller is available…

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      You had to go there? 🙂

  24. Jim skelton

    July 5, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Save Bucky, class act…won’t get anyone batter..sorry dan you an the family have made the decisions on the awful ubaldo Davis kushner cobb horror shows. Owner won’t go that leave s you…

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      I’m assuming you mean the other Dan?

  25. GooseLu

    July 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Dan and happy belated 4th.

    I do want Buck back for next season…though as I cannot figure out this team, maybe I SHOULDN’T want him back. Am I being sentimental? Just because I don’t think that this team’s woes ate his fault might not be a good enough reason for him to come back.

    I do think that the batting coach should be fired…twice, if possible.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      I would imagine a staff change is coming at some point. Couldn’t tell you when.

  26. deqalt

    July 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    So glad to see most of these comments are respectful and positive toward Buck. I get so upset at the Orioles fans who trash him. I have never seen a manager who cares more about the fans and there experience on a daily basis. He is very genuine and I am quite sure there are major obstacles he has to deal with from the front office. Its pretty well known that this ownership has a rep for not doing things the other 29 clubs are doing. Buck is a top 5 manager in baseball. He has had a terrible pitching staff ever since he has arrived and has a league wide reputation for handling a bullpen. This season for a million reasons was doomed from the beginning ( see Colby Rasmus article). Orioles need major changes and Buck knows how to see talent and they do play hard for him. The change needs to be with Ownership and Dan. Get back into international market and more importantly change the culture around the league that the Orioles are a pain in the butt to deal with. Hopefully with Brady that is changing, but time will tell. Remember last Sept 1st Orioles were like 1 game out of wild card with the worst pitching in baseball. That wasn’t too long ago. You don’t get stupid in 11 months.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      To your very first point, people in this forum are always respectful. I cringed when I wrote it, thinking the trolls would come running. But they got stopped by our bouncer outside the door.

  27. HOF19

    July 5, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Yes……..But maybe a bigger question…… Does he want to stay with the O’s ? And what are his retirement thoughts ?

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      He says he wants to stay. He has said it repeatedly this year.

  28. jtrea81

    July 5, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I registered for this site just because I knew there were going to be so many fans that wanted him back.

    To answer the question – No! 100% No!

    Buck Showalter is the biggest problem with the Orioles besides ownership.

    Just like with the Texas Rangers he has gained way too much control over the roster and we are now seeing the results. Buck went over Duquette to get Angelos to keep Chris Davis and has lobbied for “baseball players” on his roster that may not have the talent to actually be successful in the major roles Buck feels they should play.

    Worse yet his blundering of the lineups and roster has run off useful parts like Hyun Soo Kim because Buck can’t or won’t figure out how to use them, or used them incorrectly like Steve Pearce in the OF in 2016 when the Rays never used him in the OF because he’d get hurt throwing. On the flip side, Joey Rickard should have been a 4th OFer but he wound up, leading off and starting against all pitching and as predicted, he showed he should have not been a regular.

    And last but certainly not least – time to home plate – an obsession with a non-existent running game in MLB that is likely messing up numerous minor league arms. For those that already have mechanical issues out of high school or college, speeding up dangerous mechanics is only asking for trouble as we’ve seen from Bundy, Harvey and Sedlock.

    Getting back to the Rangers, they fired Showalter with several years left on an extension because they wanted to be rid of his influence on the roster. Case in point, Buck lobbied ownership to run off Alex Rodriguez plus $, and got Alfonso Soriano in return. Buck wanted Soriano to hit in the middle of the order, but Soriano wanted to hit leadoff, so he sulked and his numbers dipped. After two seasons, Buck also got fed up with Soriano’s act and had GM Jon Daniels deal Soriano for 50 cents on the dollar to the Nationals for Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge. Wilkerson was a disaster for the Rangers while Soriano had a rebirth at the top of the Nationals’ order where Buck refused to play him.

    At the end of the day Buck had the front office deal a superstar and millions of dollars for Brad Wilkerson and little else and he looked like a complete moron for doing so, and that’s not even mentioning how he had Adrian Gonzalez traded away because he never thought he’d hit for power.

    Fans really want this guy in the front office?

    Of course now you have the opposite, and Buck has now let Manny Machado walk all over him, even putting him in a position that he is weaker at defensively to the detriment of the team. Not to mention his kid gloves with Chris Davis, especially after Davis on the roster is largely his doing.

    Buck is no longer a fit with this team as the manager, and he’s certainly no fit in the front office, so the best thing the Orioles could do is move on, and move on as soon as possible. He should have been fired after the 2016 season, but the Orioles have kept him and we’ve seen this slow slide to the bottom that other teams like the Rangers have stopped before they got this far.

    It’s time for the Orioles to come to their senses and realize while Showalter did a lot to get the team to believe that it was no longer a doormat, he’s got an expiration date and it’s long overdue.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Love the passion. And can understand some of the points. But each team he inherited got better quickly. Including one he built from scratch. I don’t think that can be ignored either. It’s not coincidence that teams became better under Showalter — albeit they didn’t reach their apex until after his departure. Both sides need to be mentioned, tho.

      • jtrea81

        July 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        He did do a lot to turn the team around and that’s a specialty of his – building confidence in his players, particularly young ones. But the team is no longer young, and they are a doormat largely because of him. How much value does he still provide when he’s below .500 in the playoffs and hasn’t even won a LCS in multiple attempts?

        Duquette and his team around him were also a larger factor in the turnaround that located basically a starting rotation and the players like Nate McLouth and Steve Pearce who could fill in as overachievers just like Troy O’Leary and Reggie Jefferson did in Boston. Jose Canseco and Nelson Cruz were also somewhat similar acquisitions in impact, though Canseco played two seasons and was traded to the Red Sox for his first. It’s only when Duquette was stripped of power in the 2014-2015 offseason did the team start backsliding and you saw more of Showalter’s influence than Duquette’s in the roster. I include 2016 in there because the team went from 1st place at the break to barely hanging onto the 2nd WC spot.

        The Orioles still have the talent in their organization to be competitive, but Buck is holding them back much like Andy MacPhail held back the Orioles before his departure.

  29. deqalt

    July 5, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    I don’t think I have read a post with more misinformation.

    1. Buck’s biggest issue for leaving the other teams was not anything to do with talent evaluation. He had a rep for being way too hard on players. To his credit and time with TV he changed his tune dramatically and had great results. His ability was NEVER questioned.
    2. Buck’s influence on who is signed is greatly exaggerated, Peter Angelos does what he wants to do and Dan Duquette is not a wall flower. There is blame to go around but to pin all of it on him.
    3. The Chris Davis signing was considered a huge win by 99% of the people. His cost was questioned but the signing was considered a win!
    4. A-Rod leaving was because his salary was killing the team’s ability to get anything else. The Rangers owner was obsessed with getting him and it did not work out. It was a salary dump. When you have to dump money you get less talent in return.
    5. EVERYONE was tired of Soriano. He had a terrible reputation.
    6. To think Buck was the only one making decision on Manny means both Brady and Dan are doing nothing. Manny’s trade value is higher. The critical statement is not getting a 3rd baseman in his place.
    7. This is a poorly constructed team. Plenty of blame to go around, but the notion Buck is pulling all the strings and the rest of the front office is just following his lead is nuts.
    8. It’s amazing anyone questioning these moves in 2016 and really beyond. Are we really saying either Pearce or Rickard were good choices. Was the issue why are these the only choices? 2 bad options.Kim had success because of Buck. How did he do when he left?

    • jtrea81

      July 5, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      1. Talent evaluation was most certainly the reasoning the Rangers canned him with multiple years left on an extension. The Soriano and Gonzalez trades made Daniels look like an idiot because he did what Showalter wanted. How many playoff games had Buck won before Baltimore? His ability to win in the postseason was always questioned.

      2. Buck was part of the team that hired Dan Duquette. Of course he has say over the 25 man roster and throughout the organization otherwise why would he have come to Baltimore and left his TV gig at ESPN? He was able institute his own policy to alter pitching mechanics of minor league pitchers to get the ball to home plate faster so runners could be thrown out more often. Angelos brought in Showalter over MacPhail’s advice so he’s always had a special bond with the owner.

      3. Sure the Davis signing looked like a win, but a manager should never be able to have more influence than the GM. Showalter clearly does.

      4. A-Rod leaving was due to Buck lobbying Tom Hicks and telling him there’s no way the Rangers can compete with A-Rod taking up too much payroll. The Rangers did have a deal to take back Manny Ramirez and then a 20 year old Jon Lester but it blew up because of the MLBPA refusing to let A-Rod reduce his salary, and then they were forced to deal him to the Yankees plus eat about a year’s worth of salary to get back Soriano and Joaquin Arias. The Rangers then squandered that payroll room on a bunch of poor performing veterans.

      5. The Nationals happily traded for him even though he was a rental and then he had multiple productive seasons with the Cubs.

      6. Manny’s trade value would be a lot higher had he stuck to playing 3B primarily, and the team defense certainly would be better. Beckham would likely have been better than Manny at SS. Duquette can’t influence who is played where on the roster. Buck has complete control there.

      7. Buck was a big reason for Rasmus on the team because he loved his defense. Buck also lobbied to keep Mark Trumbo as well as Davis, he’s played Mancini out of position in LF, refused to move Jones to a corner OF spot, allowed Manny to walk over him to put him at SS instead of 3B. Not to mention he has never once made plate approach seem like it was an issue that needed to be addressed nor has he optimized his lineups to give his hitters with the best approaches the most plate appearances.

      8. Rickard was fine against LHP, but Buck wouldn’t let Kim hit to start and played him against RHP too.
      As for Pearce, he was still very much a weapon against LHP in 2016. I was the one of the only ones to point out how foolish it was the Orioles were going to use him as an OFer when they knew he had a forearm issue that only hurt when he threw from the OF. Not only did he get hurt, but Buck put him back out there after he was “healed.” Had the Orioles had Pearce to hit against LHP down the stretch, perhaps they could have had the 1st WC spot and hosted or at the minimum Pearce could have been used to PH in extra innings instead of Reimold in the Wild Card game. Pearce also may not have made the error that Reimold did that put more pressure on Ubaldo. Bad decisions have consequences and Buck refusing to consider Pearce’s injury was a very bad decision and probably just as bad and consequential as leaving Britton on the bench.

      As for Kim, he thrived in spite of Showalter, likely to prove him wrong. Kim’s spirit was broken by Buck by being benched, which is why he went back to Korea where he is once again tearing the cover off the ball and getting on base as usual.

      • deqalt

        July 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm

        jtrea81 I love your passion. Where do you get all this inside information? How does anyone know Buck pulled all these strings? Which writer has said any of these things?

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 12:40 am

      Too much to try and respond to. But I will say this: You are absolutely, positively wrong about Angelos hiring Buck over MacPhail’s advice. I covered the entire hiring process from beginning to end. Andy was forefront in all of it. He was the one that met with Buck for lunch at a private golf course and offered him the job. You can float all your theories — and some have credence — but you couldn’t be further off on this one. Trust me.

  30. 54orioles

    July 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    If the team gets considerably younger, I would want Buck to stay even though I have never understood his use of Jimenez while Britton sat in Toronto). His record shows very positive when the talent on the team is young and pliable. If he has control of bringing in older “proven” veterans, I don’t believe veterans follow alone with Showalter’s on how to approach the game. I think the entire coaching staff needs to go thru a detail re-assessment. Are they contributing and are they even listen to. I love the question you put out to your readers. Many of us are so discouraged by the performance of the team,coaches and front office.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 12:41 am

      I’m glad you responded.

  31. LenSakata

    July 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    No way. The magic is gone. Bring in the new.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 12:41 am

      Ok. I’ll bite. Who do ya want?

  32. GSISDANNO

    July 5, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Yes. Buck Showalter is the second best manager in team history. This mess belongs to Duquette.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 12:42 am

      I think there is plenty of blame to go around. Credit too when it was due.

  33. woody

    July 5, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    i think it would be beneficial to all parties to part ways. if we were set to compete next year i’d not even discuss replacing Buck. But we will need someone who has the drive to rebuild. I just think Buck can’t be saddled with the prospect of being 3-5 years away from a competitive team. And i’d like to think that someone would give Buck a shot somewhere else where success is a little closer – as he deserves to be applying his skills to managing good baseball teams.

  34. cedar

    July 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    When Buck arrived in Baltimore he returned this teams focus on the fundamentals and brought back the Orioles Way. Solid defense, pitcher management, knowing the game, and having the players who could execute on the field and at the plate what he was teaching. Good defense, keeping the ball on the ground, and a solid bullpen covered for poor pitch selection and discipline at the plate.

    The last couple years Buck hasn’t had the personnel necessary to stick with that plan.

    If the O’s go on a complete rebuild, Buck is the guy I want to lead them. He’s a good teacher of the game, knows how to protect a young arm, and coax a young fielder how to hit the cutoff man.

    The only thing I would ask for is a new hitting coach to instill more discipline at the plate.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 12:43 am

      Fair points. But you also need the personnel for plate discipline.

  35. SIXDAYWAR

    July 5, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    I refuse to be judgmental about people I do not know…the archetypes of you commenters –if which I am well acquainted …I WILL judge. Regardless of how the Orioles franchise turns out you’re all going to hell. Further you need to do sweat work for a living. After 4 -6 years of indebted college…go carry the mail in the SNOW ! freeze your azzes off . I am boxing up all my O’s and Nats bobbleheads. I am not selling it in package on Ebay because ebay is no longer getting access to my credit card. It will just sit there . Just as this season just sits there. I don’t have to do anything with these player bobbleheads. I’ll let the MARKET WRECK THEIR VALUE …
    Hey, its a business…we all understand this.

    • Big bird 64

      July 5, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      Have a bad day?

      • SIXDAYWAR

        July 6, 2018 at 7:37 am

        Crazy from the heat thanks for not asking. The Great thing here is my discount on streaming. I stopped drinking when it stopped being fun. Classic example. If you like who you are working for you go above and beyond. If its just the pay and benefits you do the consistent minimum and keep your resume fresh. I hear a lot of criticism about the Angelos family. Since they cannot be fired you have to find that greater purpose for giving it your best every night. OR TANK….That was they told me on the religious channels. I was drunk then …now I’m just sober and irritated. Again thanks for asking.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 12:44 am

      Were people behind the bar when I hit the can????

  36. Kpalm

    July 6, 2018 at 6:59 am

    I love Buck, but that being said with his knowledge of baseball I’d rather he take the role as GM , i think he would build a better team .

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:49 am

      I respectfully disagree. I’d much rather see him handle a team than build one.

  37. PCampanaris

    July 6, 2018 at 8:53 am

    With what he has to work with, no one else could’ve done a better job! Who got rid of all the promising Pitchers, not Buck. Who gets all the players that are past their prime, or on their way down,Not Buck. Who paid the $160,000,000.00 man ( now I know why Texas got rid of him ) it was not Buck. And how about the Famous pitcher we got from Cleveland, It was Not Buck. And how about not resigning Cruz & Markakis, it was not Buck. And how about ( a joke ) our rule 5 picks. And last but not least, how about spending some money ( like some teams that are serious, in wanting to Win) and which the Orioles ( Angelos) have. How Filthy Rich, does one want to be! How about making Baltimore “ Great Again” and share some of that wealth. Who knows, Maybe the Stadium Will Start Filling Up Again! Stop MICKY MOUSING around. No, Buck Is NOT THE PROBLEM!!!!

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:51 am

      This is one of my biggest pet peeves with fans. Either Angelos doesn’t spend money or he spent it foolishly. You can’t make both arguments. The orioles have been top half in payroll throughout the last half decade. The money has been spent.

  38. Churchton

    July 6, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Yes but I don’t want brainless Anderson involved in any player or personel moves just let him smile and wave because he does not know anything about personel

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Tough to make that call from where I sit. Especially since I don’t know which calls are being made by whom.

  39. Baltimos687

    July 6, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I would have liked him back probably until recently. He’s batter Chris Davis 5th the past 3 or 4 nights. Chris Davis is on pace for the worst offensive season of all time. You have a terrible offense, you just can’t continue to bat him 5th. Buck is very set in his ways at this point.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      He’s always been set in his ways. That way just isn’t working this time — at least with the Davis situation.

  40. MikeinFairfax

    July 6, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    So my selfish answer is yes, because my wife got me a custom Showalter road jersey for my birthday last October. But my actual answer is yes, but he may need to be flexible on some coaching changes. As I recall that is what got him fired in NY–he would not make coaching changes and was loyal to his guys. They cannot bring the whole coaching staff back. Coolbaugh for one might be a guy they should consider replacing. Not because he’s a bad guy but a fresh hitting voice and approach may be in order.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 6, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      You are right about NY. He wouldn’t fire his hitting coach. So he got canned too.

  41. jimcarter

    July 7, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Last place finish in 2017, historically bad in 2018 on pace for 45 wins. Let’s see. Hmmm. Well; at the risk of being shouted down, I would have already fired him. It was this site that made a bold prediction awhile back about firing a manager. Someone suggested that the Reds (who at the time were battling the O’s for being pitiful) move to can their manager wouldn’t accomplish a thing. Let’s go to the board and look at those winning percentages: Orioles .276, Reds .443. Looks like someone should get out of the crystal ball business! Here’s how the Orioles differ from every team in baseball. They hang on to incompetent performers (not just players) like grim death. It’s like they have unhealthy obsessions with their employees. Other teams treat those who fail the same as any business would treat them. They fire them!

  42. OriolesNumber1Fan

    July 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Buck is the best manager period. Orioles won’t find one better. I have just one complaint, Gausman was going along having a great game against Twinkies. In the 5th inning struggled and threw 42 piches and not one mound visit. 42 pitches and not one visit by anyone. Threw Gausman to the wolves. Showalter should have sent out PC at some point since he was sleeping!!! Changes pitchers after the inning is over for the 6th inning. He’s always saying we won’t put any of his relievers in harm’s way but what about the starters??? This wasn’t the first time he’s done this btw!!!

  43. ptmt86

    July 16, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Yes!

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