Showalter held closed-door meeting after Wednesday's loss to rebuke team for lackluster play -

Dan Connolly

Showalter held closed-door meeting after Wednesday’s loss to rebuke team for lackluster play

With the Orioles flailing at a near-franchise-worst pace this month, Orioles manager Buck Showalter did something Wednesday night that he only does a couple times a season, if at all.

He closed the clubhouse doors after an 8-4 loss, and held a brief team meeting, sternly rebuking his players for falling into a lackluster swoon that had produced just one win in their previous 11 games.

According to several sources, there weren’t any theatrics, just pointed words from the veteran skipper that made clear his mindset. One source said Showalter was probably a little more agitated in Wednesday’s meeting than in recent memory, but that’s primarily because this start has been so awful — the second worst 25-game stretch to begin a season in franchise history.

The gist of Showalter’s chewing out: “You are here for a reason. So play like it. No excuses. Play better. Because what has happened to start the season is unacceptable.”

The message, according to several sources, was not a surprise, nor was the tone or the timing, One player said the message was needed. Others simply said that Showalter didn’t provide anything earthshaking, just verbal confirmation of what the players were thinking.

Showalter, in his career, picks his spots to offer such dress-downs in front of a full group, preferring to talk to players one-on-one.

The manager dress-down is fairly rare in Major League Baseball these days partially because there are plenty of opportunities in today’s game to talk to players collectively in pregame meetings, and partially because the sense is too many rah-rah talks or pointed rebukes lose their effectiveness during a six-month season.

Showalter apparently chose Wednesday night after another bad loss as the right time to get things off his chest.

The Orioles lost the following game Thursday, 9-5 to the Rays to drop to 6-19 on the season. But the beleaguered offense collected 14 hits, tying its season high and eclipsing the Orioles’ season high for a nine-inning game.


They begin a three-game series Friday night against the Detroit Tigers (10-13), who swept the Orioles in Detroit last week.



  1. jkneps63

    April 27, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    So waiting until they 13 games under 0.500 is standard practice? It. Is. Too. Late. Buck.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 27, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      It’s not as if he doesn’t talk to these guys constantly. But you can only pull the dress-down of a group on rare occasion or it loses its effect. This isn’t football. There are 162 games. You have to pick spots.

      • jkneps63

        April 27, 2018 at 8:12 pm

        It feels like the start of this season is a continuation of the poor play from the end of last season. Maybe a good earlier spot was the rain out on the 16th. The O’s are 1-8 since then. Hindsight is 20/20 I know, but it feels like the wheel are off the wagon for 2018.

  2. Orial

    April 27, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Player quoted as saying “nothing earth shaking”? Hmm don’t like that comment.

    • jkneps63

      April 27, 2018 at 9:08 pm

      Looks like they got the message – Tillman and Alvarez in particular, good to see the older guys leading the way tonight.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 28, 2018 at 2:28 am

      Nothing earthshaking as in nothing we didn’t know. That was my sense.

    • bigdaddydk

      April 28, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Sounds to me like the players know it, but that they needed to hear it from Buck. So, while there’s no great revelation, it’s still important that he says it. It appears to have helped a bit as last night the defense was better and the bats came alive later. I thought there was evidence of more heart last night.

  3. ubetonit

    April 28, 2018 at 6:23 am

    He needs to hold the players accountable via playing time as he did when he first took over in 2010. Place in the lineup shouldn’t be status quo if said player doesn’t produce or make adjustments. Words mean nothing whether they come from Buck or the player. Play better or sit DOWN.

  4. mlbbirdfan

    April 28, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    This team has too many problems !!
    Particularly the defense.
    Defense is brutal !! Ruinous !!
    Between SS and 3B, We have one major league player.
    Outfield? No CF. Jones is a quality outfielder but should not be playing centerfield. We have no other outfielder who is major league caliber on defense.
    Starting pitching and bullpen?
    WAY under-performing. Look at pitching coach.
    Offense? Davis sucks. Ruinous.
    Schoop injury a killer.
    NO depth !

  5. mlbbirdfan

    April 28, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    PS: Bordick is a terrible color commentator, have to watch the game with the sound off

  6. Berkeley2017

    April 28, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Obviously, we are all saddened at the O’s wretched season: not only have they lost games but they play very poorly. Pitchers that were supposed to improve the rotation haven’t contributed much; Davis has been horrible.

    But why the collapse? The sloppiness??

    I think the Angelos-DD-Showalterto approach to MLB generally is untenable and over time makes teams much worse.

    The shuttle between Norfolk and Baltimore wears on the team as a whole and throws many players off. The Os OF has been a mess since Nick left. Compare Jones, Markakis, and Cruz with every configuration since then. Regardless of who is responsible, this is unacceptable and an insult to the fans.

    Always waiting to the the last minute to make decisions about signing players is also over time catastrophic, causing players to play poorly, The latest debacle with Cobb shows this: signed at the last minute, thrown into the rotation probably prematurely, a good pitcher has performed poorly.

    Allowing Davis to play every night shows poor leadership and sets a bad example for the rest of the team. At this point he is not a major league hitter and has not been once for over a year. He should be benches, cut, sent down but not playing every day.

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