BALTIMORE—Buck Showalter entered the final series of the Orioles’ season not knowing if these four games will mark the end of his eight-plus-year managerial tenure.
There has been speculation about Showalter’s future all season long, and as this disappointing year winds down, the chatter has become louder.
Not only is Showalter’s contract up, but so is Dan Duquette’s. The Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations has declined to address reports that he’ll be back — and that Showalter won’t.
When Duquette was asked about those reports last Friday at Yankee Stadium, he said Orioles ownership would make those decisions when the season ended.
Showalter was visibly uncomfortable when asked about his contractual status, deflecting the attention to Adam Jones, whose contract is expiring.
“I think about Adam a lot,” Showalter said. “It’s more from their perspective for me. Whatever stuff like that, we all have some private thoughts and emotions about that. I don’t think it serves the organization well for me to be worried about that right now. We’ve got some things to do these last four games.”
The Orioles are 46-112, and are finishing the season against the American League West champion Houston Astros at home.
Showalter said that he’s not upset that he hasn’t been told anything about his future.
“I shouldn’t know,” Showalter said. “I’ve got a contract through the end of … October. Nobody needs to or has to do that. There’s a lot of people in this world like that. Who am I? It is that important? No.”
Showalter, who has a record of 668-681 with the Orioles, has managed the team since August 2010. The Orioles reached the postseason in 2012, 2014 and 2016, but this season they’ve had not only the worst record in baseball but the worst in franchise history.
The uncertainty doesn’t bother the 62-year-old, who has managed the second-most games in team history.
“It won’t be difficult,” Showalter said. “In the whole scheme of life, it shouldn’t be. Shame on me if it is. Do you know how good they’ve been to me? I’m not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens.”
The Orioles’ game with the Astros scheduled for Thursday night was postponed by rain. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader Saturday, beginning at 4:05 p.m. It’s the Orioles’ eighth rainout of the season.