Diner Question: Who should manage the Orioles next season? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Diner Question: Who should manage the Orioles next season?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Just one-tenth of the season, 16 games, are left, and there’s the real possibility that Buck Showalter won’t return as Orioles manager in 2019. Last month, I wrote that the Orioles should keep Showalter to help shepherd their rebuild. Many of you commented positively and negatively on Showalter, and over the next two-plus weeks, there will be much talk about his future.

Showalter has the second-longest tenure in Orioles history, just over eight years, and he’s managed the team to a 664-673 record. His 2012 team was the Orioles’ first winning one since 1997, and he’s had three playoff teams, and won the American League Manager of the Year award in 2014 when the Orioles reached the American League Championship Series.

This week’s Diner question is: Who should be the manager of the Orioles in 2019?

81 Comments

81 Comments

  1. deqalt

    September 14, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Still Buck Showalter. He was great before and still great. He knows talent and can help the rebuild.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Lots of divided opinions here, deqalt.

      • Jeffrey Wilfer

        September 22, 2018 at 9:37 am

        JOE GIRARDI.HE CAN WHIP THEM IN SHAPE!

        • Big bird 64

          September 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm

          Whipping players into shape got him fired in NY.

    • jkneps63

      September 14, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      I guess Buck should move on to be a GM them since “He knows talent”…he sure as heck can’t coach ’em up!

  2. BIff Pocoroba

    September 14, 2018 at 8:21 am

    When are you and Buck getting married? Where are you registered? I’ll save the date.

    • deqalt

      September 14, 2018 at 9:41 am

      This isn’t twitter meant to be serious discussions.

      • BIff Pocoroba

        September 14, 2018 at 10:44 am

        Please print out the rules so I can post them on my fridge. It’s a fake “diner” and a 3-paragraph …. story? Yeah let’s get serious here

    • jkneps63

      September 14, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Hilarious post, thanks for the LOL moment.

  3. CASH ME OUSSIDE

    September 14, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Shoot, let RJ try.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Just named organizational manager of the year, cash.

    • Raymo

      September 14, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Who is RJ?

  4. Buzz W

    September 14, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Ron Washington, he is excellent with young talent. Great teacher and he has recovered from his issue.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Washington nearly won a World Series, Buzz.

  5. garyintheloo

    September 14, 2018 at 9:20 am

    His interviews seem to be rather stale and I’m wondering if he still has the team. He’s been through two total collapses in a row and the fundamentals have gone to hell. Don’t know where the Angelos boys will take this but I would give Buck an evaluator position, one of those special advisor slots, but not the GM. As a system we still lack talent in a big way.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:26 am

      It’s nearly an entirely new team, Gary.

  6. Vernon

    September 14, 2018 at 9:28 am

    I like Buck a lot but am embarrassed that he could not get the team to play a better brand of baseball. I expect to really struggle against the good teams but when you get swept by the Royals and Jays there is more than a problem of having diminished talent. Our BIGGEST issue is we cannot develop pitching. Even our 1st round pitching choices like Bundy , Gausman, Harvey just never improved and most often get worse.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:26 am

      You make some interesting points here, Vernon.

    • jkneps63

      September 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      “am embarrassed that he could not get the team to play a better brand of baseball” at least someone is embarrassed, too bad it wasn’t Buck who felt this way and tried to do a better job of coaching the team to perform better.

  7. Ekim

    September 14, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Not going there…

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:27 am

      I thought you’d suggest Roger McDowell.

  8. Bancells Moustache

    September 14, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Hard to say. Really driven by the GM decision. Duquette no doubt wants to install his own man, and anyone new brought in would certainly want to do likewise. As much as I may dislike it, the modern manager (Cora, Hinch, Boone etc) is simply a guy who looks good in uniform pants and will follow whatever the spreadsheet produced by the Front-Office that night says. The age of the celebrity manager, the Weavers, Showalters and LaRussas of the world, is over. The Yale boys up in the suite run the show now. The Yankees are tracking for 100 wins with a guy who has no managerial experience that they plucked out of the ESPN booth for God’s sake. So I’m confident it won’t be a recognizable name.

    One thing I do know; anyone still advocating for Buck Showalter has lost their mind. He has overseen a team quitting on him twice now. Well, I suppose quitting only applies in 2017, as 2018 they never bothered to ever get started. If this were Boston or New York, Buck would’ve been fired 3 years ago. I hate the Yankees and Red Sox as much as the next man, but those two organizations are what they are because they demand excellence. Not “competitiveness”. Meanwhile in Baltimore, a guy delivers one first place finish and a couple participation trophies (that’s all the second wild card is) and people want to build him a statue. Let it go. If this team could fire Davey Johnson, Cal Ripken Sr, and Frank Robinson (FRANK ROBINSON!) it can part with Mr. Showalter. Its a new day. Embrace it.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Lots to digest here, Bancells. One thing I’ll agree on is that the big-name managers are going away. Joe Maddon and Terry Francona are the exceptions.

      The team didn’t fire Davey Johnson. He quit with a year remaining on his contract. The incident was detailed in his book.

    • ZantiGM

      September 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Please don’t put Buck in same group with LaRussa or Baker or Francona or Weaver
      Even Joe Torre and Frank Robinson were much better managers

    • Jbigle1

      September 15, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      The orioles job is thoroughly unattractive right now too. I don’t even know who would be interested. I wouldn’t mind a younger manager coming in. He could certainlywould have plenty of time to get over the learning curve. Anyone thinking Girardi, I’d say think again. I can’t imagine this job holds any appeal to him whatsoever.

  9. jeglaw66

    September 14, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Time for new leadership. Back to back last place finishes along with this year’s disaster call for a change.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:31 am

      A lot of fans agree with you, jeglaw.

  10. Olney Ogre

    September 14, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Buck has done a fabulous job over the years. I think , as a free agent, he would prefer to manage a team that will be competitive. That won’t be the Orioles. Manager should be someone young from outside the organization.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:31 am

      That is certainly a possibility, Olney.

  11. Indyblue212

    September 14, 2018 at 10:24 am

    If Gerardi is available, go and get him!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Joe Girardi is available, Indy, and would be an interesting choice.

  12. Devereauxisunderit

    September 14, 2018 at 10:37 am

    I want the Buck who likes his guys. We deserve the Buck who has all the spirit and enthusiasm he has shown in the good years. I also want a Buck who embraces analytics, and with that an adjustment to his own managing style because he realizes the time has come for him to do so. Could this Buck even exist?

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Devereaux, this Buck embraces analytics a lot more than you think.

  13. Orial

    September 14, 2018 at 10:37 am

    2 weeks ago I would have definitely said keep Buck. Having my doubts now. When he sat Jones only to play Rickard I was starting to grumble. Every young player that comes up is fair to bad. There’s no stepping it up. BUT who else is out there that a young player can look up to in awe when he arrives? Girardi,Farrell,Matheny aren’t gonna want a rebuild. A young unproven is the other option. One final factor–the fans going forward. They’re gonna need a familiar face to ease this transition in his eyes. Gues what I’m saying is ,with reservations, bring Buck back. The front office seems to have a direction with the Sons. Buck will need new coaches,an openness to modern/analytical ideas,and be on same page as DD or whoever the GM will be.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Interesting thoughts as always, Orial.

  14. Birdman

    September 14, 2018 at 10:59 am

    It may not help, but with one of the worst teams in baseball history and attendance plummeting, it seems that a complete reboot – new GM, new manager, new coaches – should be expected.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 14, 2018 at 11:35 am

      That may happen, Birdman.

    • Ekim

      September 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Hey Bird… how about new owners?

    • jkneps63

      September 14, 2018 at 7:28 pm

      I second the complete reboot idea…

  15. Krabman

    September 14, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Nothing against Buck, but he’s not the guy to lead a youth movement or a rebuild. This team is years away from contending. Buck’s an older guy who demands excellence and doesn’t suffer foolishness magnanimously. The team needs a younger energetic and optimistic guy who can laugh off the horribly comic play we will endure tor couple of years and give the fans a sense of cheerful hope; someone who can lead a bunch of lovable losers. Buck’s not that guy. Time for an amicable parting.

    • jkneps63

      September 14, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      So you are saying Buck can’t adjust to a young team? I totally agree and hope he is gone within 24 hours of completion of game 162.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:23 am

      It seems that many agree with you, Krabman.

  16. Taipandesaipan

    September 14, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Tough one. Buck has been a winner, and has created a distinct Oriole culture. But at the core of Buck’s culture were Manny, Schoop, JJ, Adam and others who are now gone. I say lets go all the way to the top with this rebuild. Would love to see a young innovative manager like Kevin Cash or Joe Girardi. Their brand of baseball is new, exciting and very effective.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:25 am

      Taipand-I don’t know that I would classify Joe Girardi as young and innovative.

      • Big bird 64

        September 23, 2018 at 1:07 pm

        Unless you call waiting for a 3-run homer innovative.

  17. SpinMaster

    September 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Rich: In keeping Buck, are we stuck with McDowell and Coolbaugh? Like others who have said and other places, this hitting homers or striking out batting mentality has got to change. Look at the many ways the Red Sox can beat you and they are at the 100 win mark. Our batters seem to come to the plate trying to hit 3-run homers with no one on base. No one, except Villar will even try to drop down a bunt or take strikes to work a count. Even Mullins seems to be in the all or nothing syndrome.
    As for the pitching, all I can say is that our pitchers need a new voice to listen to.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:26 am

      Spin-I’m sure there will be coaching changes after the season no matter who is managing.

  18. Cmoney49

    September 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Showalter should

  19. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 14, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I’ll do it !

    I’ve got 47 years of Strat-O-Matic experience, and in these days of analytics, I think that counts for something!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:27 am

      Boog, can you stand to listen to my questions before and after games?

  20. Turtle1527

    September 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    I’ve been a huge Buck fan since he said on ESPN he’d love to fix our beloved Os, but i think the Time has come for a new voice and vision in the Clubhouse. We need someone who will embrace the direction that Dan laid out a over a month ago. That the organization is shifting to better scouting on the domestic and international level and more use of analytics. The opinion of many is that Buck isn’t a big believer in analytics. With that said I believe that there’s a couple of Candidates out there I’d love to see. The first being Carlos Beltran- Beltran has had an amazing career and has developed a successful development center in Puerto Rico. Not only does that help with recruiting talent from Latin America, but he has helped develop the criteria these young players are being taught. Which leads me to believe he has an idea of how to develop talent.

    If the organization wants someone with a track record then Joe Girardi should be at the top of there list. Ushered out of NY after taking a team that was not picked to be anything in the East to the ALCS and one game from the WS. Girardi showed he knew how to connect with the younger players and being a former Catcher, he should be able to help with the development of the young pitching staff and catchers.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Beltran would be an interstellar choice. Lots of people here like Girardi.

  21. PCampanaris

    September 14, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    BUCK, Give him a team to work with and see what happens. He is 2nd to none. All of these other Mgr’s , that have winning teams, also have winning owners!!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:29 am

      Buck still has some supporters, PC.

  22. jkneps63

    September 14, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Gregg Ritchie! Buck has proven he can win with good talent, but just about anyone can do the same. Buck and staff cannot “coach ’em up” when needed so he needs to go and good riddance I say.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:31 am

      I had to look this one up. Gregg Ritchie is the coach of George Washington University. If he’s the man, I’ll remember that jkneps predicted it first.

  23. mmaz

    September 14, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    No question – who could have done so much with so little for so long before this year? Bring Buck back as long as he’ll have us!!!!!

    Mike (born Balto, now in NC)

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:32 am

      Mmaz, I’m sure Buck appreciates your support.

    • Heydey

      September 16, 2018 at 8:02 am

      You’ve got to be kidding. “So little for so long,” the Os have had some great talent, but Buck and his coaches failed this team miserably. If the entire team sucks in all areas (pitching, batting, fielding) it’s the coaches that have checked out and are not doing their jobs. Buck should have been gone many months ago along with his assistants. The fact that the front office has traded away most of the talent leaves this team with no one to build the team around. There is nothing to attract any free agents to this team and there is nothing in what is coming from the minors that indicates this team will field a winner for many years to come. Earl Weaver must be spinning in his grave at what has happened to a once respectable team. All of his teams may not have been great, but they at least acted like they wanted to win. Buck and Dan should not be extended at any cost.

  24. Michele1

    September 14, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    I’m for showalter all the way!!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 12:33 am

      Thanks, Michele!

  25. boss61

    September 15, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Good morning Rich. I’ve taken the time to read through all of the comments. The thing is 115ish losses, on top of last year’s modest disappointment, mandates a change. Thank Buck for the memories, but its time.

    There are many fine suggestions above, including a couple out-of-the box like Ron Washington. What a cool idea. My candidate is a dark horse. A knowledgeable guy, with leadership skills, substantially younger (still in his 30s) with good insights into the modern game. Orioles ties too.

    Step right up and interview for the job, JJ Hardy! I’m serious too; Hardy would make a fine choice. Maybe too Bordick, but Hardy first. I wonder if the mutual interest is there.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Boss, Hardy would be an interesting choice. I loved covering him as a player, and he has a great baseball mind.

      • Borg

        September 15, 2018 at 12:13 pm

        And it seems likely the infield would actually resemble a major league infield. If nothing else, Hardy should be able to instill better glove-work.

        As stated in the article, over eight seasons Showalter has a losing record. Yes, he was here when they had the run to multiple playoffs, but look what has happened since bringing in Ubaldo instead of Britton–a total collapse last year and the train wreck that is this year. This is a spiral that looks to be getting worse. That alone should be enough to move on. Hardy would probably be a popular choice.

  26. Kpalm

    September 15, 2018 at 10:05 am

    They should move Buck to gm and reach out to the Ripken brothers for management

  27. 4 5 8 20 22 33 42

    September 15, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I think I’ve got it. A way to maintain Buck’s dedication to excellence with an infusion of fresh, young energy in the dugout.

    Ladies and gentlemen, introducing #10, Adam Jones, player-manager.

    Pair him with a first-rate nuts and bolts bench coach (Ron Johnson?) to make sure the day-to-day things get done, and let it fly. There’s nothing to lose, the media will eat it up, it keeps Jones in Baltimore, and it could just light a fire.

    For the front office, I’d be perfectly happy with moving Buck into the GM role, but new blood might be a better choice. Jason McLeod of the Cubs, Josh Byrnes of the Dodgers (unless Andrew Friedman wants to come back to the AL East), maybe Kim Ng, each could shake things up in a good way.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      There hasn’t been a player-manager for nearly 40 years, and with good reason. Too much to handle, but fun reading.

      • 4 5 8 20 22 33 42

        September 21, 2018 at 10:05 am

        See, I think it would be easier than ever for a player manager to thrive. A-J Hinch looked like he couldn’t manage a convenience store a few years ago in Arizona, now he has a World Series ring. Personally, I think the earlier example was more indicative of his abilities. The numbers people sort out the lineup, pitchers are only throwing 1-to-3 innings, the skipper only has to motivate the players (and maybe the fans), and who would lead by example better than SimplyAJ10?

  28. SIXDAYWAR

    September 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I think at this point Baltimore is on the same level as Indianapolis. It should be AAA affiliate city. The Ballpark is fan friendly but a baseball and especially pitching NIGHTMARE. I can’t see demolishing it for a rebuild and exiling The Orioles to the Northwestern suburbs would get a lot of negative backlash. Plus people do like to walk the Harbor. Move The Major League Team to , I think Charlotte. reload the system with a lot of baseball talent from around there. Keep Buck until he decides to go. Its a rebuild …might as well do it right …

  29. Chuck

    September 15, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    My guess is that Buck remaining is a moot point. When everyone questioned his acceptance of the Orioles job, his response was: “But I think I can win with this team” — and he did, incredibly. I don’t think he’ll fight very hard at all to stay with a team that can’t possibly win. He’s done a very good job with the talent he had. Thanks, Buck.

    Now, who gets the job? Has to be someone from someone outside a scuffling organization. Someone who’s persuasive enough to prevent the organization from making bad personnel decisions — making him accept players he doesn’t want. Someone with the skills — or better yet — successful experience in a rebuild with young players. A tall order. If management is wise, it will do a very thorough search, consider everyone’s recommendations (including those from outside Oriole-world) and select someone probably unknown to almost all Oriole fans.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      That may well happen, Chuck.

  30. Mlretiree

    September 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    I am a believer in advancing young players into management. I thought that when Brian Roberts retired the Orioles should have immediately added him to a minor league club in some capacity and perhaps they made an offer. Hearing talk about plays and players makes me want to bring him in as manager yet today

    • Wi os fan

      September 15, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      Buck has lost them team going back to the playoff loss in 16- not using Britton. I love the JJ Hardy suggestion. He was a very intellectual player. Hopefully then can get a new smart gm who can handle the disorganization that lies within the ownership group. I like Ned Rice from the Phillies. He has prior warehouse experience and has helped the Phillies rebuild.

      • Rich Dubroff

        September 15, 2018 at 8:54 pm

        You’re right, Wi, Ned Rice is a smart guy.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      I would be surprised if Roberts wanted to be with the club in a full-time capacity. He has young children, and he had them near the end of his career, and the guess here is that he wants to spend lots of time with them.

  31. Wi os fan

    September 15, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Buck has lost them team going back to the playoff loss in 16- not using Britton. I love the JJ Hardy suggestion. He was a very intellectual player. Hopefully then can get a new smart gm who can handle the disorganization that lies within the ownership group. I like Ned Rice from the Phillies. He has prior warehouse experience and has helped the Phillies rebuild.

  32. Liamandcarolinesdad

    September 15, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Mike Bordick

  33. jtrea81

    September 15, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Jim Thome, Bill Ripken or Jason Varitek. Those are my top 3. Thome would be my first choice because he could wipe out the swing for the fences mentality of the team and would be a good complement to Dan Duquette if he remains. Thome also has a lot of connections and could assemble a solid coaching staff IMO. Bill Ripken is similar with his connections but obviously brings the Ripken legacy with him. Not sure if he’d want to manage but worth an inquiry. Varitek was acquired by Duquette, scouted by Rajsich and a leader on the Red Sox. He interviewed for the Mariners job a few years ago but declined it.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 15, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      Very interesting thoughts, jtrea. This is a most well-reasoned post.

    • Big bird 64

      September 23, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Dip down to Norfolk for Gary Allenson.

  34. boss61

    September 17, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Understand my perspectives before I answer. Season plan holder since 1984, business owner. I am traditional and tend to side with management. That said, 110+ losses speak for themselves, on a team that on paper was far better. Change is needed. I would have said John Russell (managerial experience) but I’m not sure too much time has not passed.

    Ron Johnson is deserving of a shot. However, i think someone younger and young-at-heart maybe just what the Baby Birds need. Someone who was a successful player and thus will command their respect. Someone who had a leadership role on a winning team. That someone is JJ Hardy.

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