Diner Question: Do you think Showalter and Duquette needed to go? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Diner Question: Do you think Showalter and Duquette needed to go?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

It’s been a monumental week in Orioles’ history with both Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette moving on, and there’s been a lot of talk about it among the patrons at Dubroff’s Diner.

Many of the patrons have been watching the tiebreaker, wild card and National League Division Series, and enjoying our special postseason menu, which includes Dodger Dogs and Fenway Franks.

Showalter and Duquette gave the Orioles three postseason appearances in their seven seasons together, but the team lost 115 games this past season and ownership decided to move in a different direction.

This week’s Diner question: Do you agree with the Orioles’ decision to dismiss Showalter and Duquette?

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Olney Ogre

    October 5, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Buck and DD are free agents. Once already , not too long ago, they led the Orioles through a “rebuild”. They ended 14 losing seasons and almost got the Orioles to the World Series. Why should we expect them to stay through another rebuild . DD wanted to leave several years ago for a promotion , but Angelos required him to stay through his contract . Buck’s experience , after leading 4 teams through periods of significant improvement , is to always leave unappreciated by ownership . They both may now join other teams in better positions with more resources to be competitive. Remember all the GM’s and Managers that the Orioles churned through before DD and Buck successfully led the team. I doubt that their replacements will be anywhere near as good as they have been.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 8:32 am

      They have set a high bar, Ogre.

  2. Creatively09

    October 5, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Yes, I’m fine with it.

    Now if whomever steps into the new executive role thinks that Buck would be a great fit for this organization and brings him back in some capacity, that’s fine with me. Don’t see it happening, but I’d always welcome him back.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 8:45 am

      I don’t see that happening, Creatively.

  3. Bancells Moustache

    October 5, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I was in the, admittedly small, camp that felt Buck needed to go and Duquette should be retained. The two of them clearly weren’t on the same sheet of music and I’m sorry but the field manager, regardless of his celebrity status, is subordinate to the VP of Baseball operations. It’s well established that DD was working with one hand tied behind his back. While that is always attributed to Angelos meddling, how much of that meddling was because Peter had a certain manager chirping in his ear? Buck’s tendency to favor “his guys”, many times to the detriment of the team, is well known. What screwed Duquette was his taking over after Showalter had made himself into a cult figure in Baltimore, virtually immune to criticism since the Orioles finished in second place in 2012.

    The whole selling point of Duquette was his work building the Expos and the Red Sox into powerhouses. The simple fact is that he was never given the opportunity to do that here. Rather, he was tasked with applying duct tape and chewing gum to an already built team, and all with ownership, an untouchable manager, and some guy who used to play centerfield that does CrossFit telling him he was putting the tape in the wrong spot. I’d want to go to Toronto too! Seeing him firmly in command at the ’18 deadline was a breath of fresh air. It seemed like this guy might actually be able to do what he was hired to do. Alas, we will never know.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      October 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Ditto that BanMo. Jeepers you’re good.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Interesting thoughts, Bancells.

  4. DevoTion

    October 5, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I think it was the right decision more letting Buck go than Dan. Buck seems like a better fit for a veteran team than one with many young players he has always been too loyal to vets. I feel like a younger manager can relate more with young players and won’t feel obligated to play the vets. As for Dan, I am not against him being let go, but I think he should have been given a chance to keep building this new team that he has played a major part in putting together.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Many seem to agree with you, Devo.


      October 6, 2018 at 9:54 am

      I keep reading Buck was too loyal to his vets and would not play young guys. Please tell me which young players Buck would not play. The young guys with talent like Manny, Schoop and Mancini played pretty much from day 1. Sisco got his shop and flopped. What young position players deserved to play and did not get a chance? And Buck kept trying out young pitchers but
      which of them really succeeded, other than Britton and flashes from Bundy and Gausman?

  5. Michele1

    October 5, 2018 at 9:48 am

    I think Showalter should have stayed myself. He’s been a great manager. The Orioles are going with a young team, and he is one of the the best at developing young talent. I would have like to have seen him see it through.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Buck has lots of supporters, Michele.

  6. Sisco Kid

    October 5, 2018 at 10:03 am

    I do agree with the decision made now moving forward. Honestly, if DD wasn’t going to be here long-term I’m not quite sure why he was the guy in charge for the deadline. But moving forward I think this is good. To me, it signals a change in the organization for the better, especially the release by the team that said the new hire will have final say on ALL baseball ops.

    I’ve been doing some reading around, including your article from last night, Rich. I think Ben Cherington could be a really good guy for this team. He built a winner in Boston, he’s analytically minded, and wants a job where he can build from the ground up. I’ve also read today that he’s withdrawn from the interviewing for the Mets and Giants positions. I think Elias would be my second choice, he’s really hit a home run with drafting and development in Houston.

    Once they hire a guy (Cherington or someone else), that guy can bring in his own manager. I’ve been advocating for Bordick, but whoever it is should be good working with young guys, and I’d like him to be a newer-age manager, one with a simultaneous focus on analytics and fundamentals. Just my opinion.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Sisco, the point about Duquette being allowed to make the trades unilaterally is one I’ve heard from many. However, he was the one in the organization most familiar with the talent both on the team and throughout the majors.

      He had the team’s best interests in mind when making the trades because he thought it would help him stay, and if it didn’t, good trades in Baltimore could help him get a job elsewhere.

      I appreciate your well-thought out opinions, as always.

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I’m with BanMo on this. I can only wish I were as eloquent as he is.

    I’ve always been a Duquette advocate. Without question, he operated with a hand tied behind his back during his time in Charm City. Do we all really think he preferred to dive into dumpsters? He certainly put together a winning team and for that, I’ll be grateful. I can only wish that the Angelos boys would have given him the reigns for this rebuild.

    As for Buck … he was a good manager during his time here as well, but I think his time has passed. I believe the team needs to get a younger, fresher personality on the bench. Buck wasn’t in a place in his own life to hang around for the required 3 to 4 years that this is going to take.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Boog, your thoughts are always a plus around here.

  8. cedar

    October 5, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I have a great deal of respect for both men, what they did for the team and how they conducted themselves. With 115 loses, I feel there isn’t any other choice than to not bring both back. I think both had their strengths and weaknesses, but a house-cleaning means you need to let them all go.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Cedar, a lot of fans agree with you.

  9. boss61

    October 5, 2018 at 10:30 am

    GM – What matters more is the autonomy of the baseball professional (free from ownership emotions) than his or her identity. Dan would have been fine, if given the autonomy, which i think he lost in the wake of the Toronto debacle. Andy MacPhail seemed to have such autonomy, like no one before or since. We need that to be the case, once again.

    Manager – After the 2016 wild card game, it was time for a change. Not because Buck was strategically wrong, but because he seemed to lose the clubhouse. Buck departure from the manager’s office was overdue for this reason.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Boss, a lot of fans are agreeing with you.

      • boss61

        October 5, 2018 at 12:18 pm

        Thanks. Blind Squirrel Effect.

  10. willmiranda

    October 5, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I have no brief against either man, but as Shakespeare opined, “There is a tide in the affairs of men,” and I think it ran out on both of them. One query, though: What is the significance of terminating them now rather than waiting for their contracts to expire in a few weeks? Is it merely to get a jump on hiring replacements? Any malice or pettiness here? Money-saving? I guess that’s more than one question, but would appreciate any insights.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Will, it’s better to let someone go now so that you can have a better choice of replacements. The money would have to be paid out whether they were fired now–or six months ago.

      There is no malice or pettiness. It’s simply business.

  11. Orial

    October 5, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Whether one or both should have stayed is a topic that will linger for a while. Again whether we liked one over the other is meaningless at this point. Now that I’ve had 2 days to digest the severing of these ties my optimism is sky high. Just read that John Angelos wants to go with a younger GM who wants to rebuild from the ground up is music to my ears. That process is more receptive to incoming GMs. The key is that an Angelos saud that. So yes now that all has settled down I think they are the right moves.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:53 am

      It will be a fascinating few months around here, Orial.

  12. sliff812

    October 5, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Unfortunately Buck needed to go, as others have said, because he’s better with Vets and might be too old to connect to the younger group. He’s also wayyyy too loyal to his favorite players (i.e. Davis) and coaches (i.e. Coolbaugh). Will always appreciate Buck for what he did. No one could have done a better job from 2012-2016. I’m completely confused why DD was let go because if the plan was always to let him go, they should have replaced him in June, giving the new GM complete control over the rebuild. Maybe that’s why they interviewed Coletti way back when, but I’m glad that didn’t turn into anything. Hire Kim Ng. She is lightning in a bottle and has the experience to do the job after working with winning baseball clubs.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Sliff, I wouldn’t say Chris Davis was one of Buck Showalter’s “favorites.” He played because the Orioles had an enormous financial stake in him, and the team, which wasn’t going anywhere, needed to try and get something out of that investment.

  13. DevoTion

    October 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Has there been any word on the situation of the coaches?

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      A new manager chooses his own coaches. No official word, but I’m sure most, if not all, will be moving on.

  14. Dpsmith22

    October 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Funny how EVERYONE assumes Duquette had his hands tied. Were his hands tied when he signed Gallardo/Jimenez? Traded away 3-4 quality prospects for guys who did literally nothing to get us there? Waiting until the last second to trade for Parra when it was too late anyway? So tired of hearing excuses from people about how his job was done poorly because PA tied his hands.

    His past success was over 10 years ago.

    Truth of the matter is:
    -6 years of drafting, O’s have bottom 3rd farm system
    -ERA of starters since Duquette is over 5.00
    -O’s record under Duquette, even after being given a world series caliber core, is under .500
    -Inherited a team needing starters and outfielders. STILL needed those positions going into 2018.
    -Emptied the minor league system with 2 hands, for deadline help. MAJORITY of which was useless.

    He made some solid moves, but good, he was not. The right move would have been after 2015 when he virtually sat on his hands because he wanted to go Toronto.

    • Phil770

      October 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you, thank you. You left out his unbelievable fascination and commitment to Rule 5 players. Signing Cobb so late in Spring Training. He mishandled re-signing Cruz and very definitely Markakis. Trumbo replaced Cruz, but his body of work does not compare to what Cruz produced over the same period. The loss of Markakis cost the organization dearly, not only for Nick’s quality of play, but the resources used to try to replace him – still haven’t been able to do it. DD traded away a lot of assets to do so.

      I don’t think there was any way to keep either Buck or DD. Not sure what happened or when, but Buck’s blunder in Toronto and DD blatantly campaigning for President of Blue Jays combined was the beginning of the end. If you think having a good, young manager is enough, look at the Cubs and the Nationals… managers make a difference.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Dp and phil, lots of good points made.

  15. Beeb

    October 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    There is a lot of kindness in these answers. Me, not so much. Buck at 669-684 is somehow missed or revered? And, there is a reason that no one particularly misses Duquette. Good lord, why is there even a question…to question. Horrible results. One word sums them both up…Jimenez

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Beeb, Ubaldo Jimenez was not terribly popular here.

    • Phil770

      October 5, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      The last season and a half make this record look marginal. Compared to the best record in the League for a five-year period; then compare that percentage to the previous 11 years before Buck. Jimenez was not DD’s worse decision; once signed, gotta use him…just not in a crucial, sudden death, wild card game.

  16. Michael Trent

    October 5, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    I think for the most part both men did what they could do under the present ownership, even though the sons are now in charge. I’m in the camp of both being let go.I also agree that after The Toronto thing for both men it was the beginning of the end.I also think the next time a Manny or Jonathan comes along try negotiating with them before there contract is just about up..I think a lot of fans would like to know this one thing about the ownership group ,we always here this saying(part of the organization thinks this or part of the organization thinks that). Just who are these people that have so much influence.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      I appreciate your input, Michael.

  17. RonnieB

    October 5, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t think that people appreciate what Buck has brought to the O’s organization. Before 2012 the O’s hadn’t done anything since the mid 90’s . I was 13 the last time the Orioles won a World Series I am now 48, at the rate they are going I may be dead before they win another.

    The fact that they have not only been relevant but also made the playoffs several times in the AL east since Buck got here should speak for itself. I’d say good luck finding someone better at managing the game. The players are the reason they lost 115 games not Buck..

    I think they should have let Dan walk a few years back when he wanted to .

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      Ronnie, Buck remains an extremely popular figure here and I think in retrospect he’ll be even more popular.

  18. garyintheloo

    October 5, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    It is past “last call” so it does not matter. I appreciate the job both men did but someone in this organization wasn’t ready to deal with roster realities and until that person is dismissed this team won’t come back anytime soon. We’ll likely never get the story from Buck or Dan since they want to stay in baseball but I would like to see their reads on Brady Anderson.

  19. Hallbe62

    October 5, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    No problem with either of them being let go. Buck is barely a .500 manager overall and there is no better illustration of that than 2016’s AL Wild Card game.

    As far as Duquette, after standing in his way for a promotion and better job in Toronto, this organization will never have his heart felt loyalty. Never.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Hallbe, lots of fans remember the Toronto affair.

  20. Phil770

    October 5, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Any insight as to what happened to the relationships? DD and Buck did not get along? Any sense as to why? Did Buck lose the clubhouse?

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 5, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      I wrote about some of this on Thursday, Phil.

  21. Mitz8

    October 6, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Buck brought with him the winning attitude to Baltimore. As good as he is, he can only play with the players who are on his roster. No matter how good a manager is, he can only do so much with a roster that’s terrible. It should be whoever that’s responsible with the roster (I’m not sure if it’s the front office or the ownership), not the manager who is given limited roster with which to play, to be blamed for the terrible outcome of 2017 and 2018 seasons.

    I’m pretty sure that either Alex Cora or Aaron Boone will win the AL Manager of the Year award in 2018; however, Buck would have done at least as well as either of them had he be given a roster that looks like the 2018 Red Sox or 2018 Yankees. It’s sickening to think that there are people who think Buck should be blamed for the bad team we’ve had the past two years (and also for the next few years or more).

    I’ve been a big fan of the O’s for the past 35-plus years, but the way the organization treated Buck at the end makes me believe the current organization has no idea how to build a good organization, nevermind what’s needed to keep its fans excited.

    • Mitz8

      October 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

      This is just my conclusion as the O’s fan with half a brain, but whoever that was instrumental in letting go Buck should also leave the Baltimore Orioles organization forever, as they have no idea as to how to bring back a good baseball team back to Baltimore. Those people must have a very short-term memory, as there was something extremely different about the team immediately after Buck took over the team about which nobody shouldn’t forget.

      Blaming Buck for how things turned out in 2017 and 2018 is nothing less than being ridiculous. Buck may have had a bad moment during the most important game in 2016, but other than that, Buck has been nothing but fantastic to the organization. He was instrumental in bringing back very respectable baseball back to Baltimore as well as bringing back the fans back into Camden Yards.

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 6, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Mitz, as a great admirer of Showalter’s, I think you make some interesting points.

      The general manager has the final say
      on the roster though Showalter had input.

      Bob Melvin or Kevin Cash is likely to win Manager of the Year though your point is well taken.

      I’m confident Buck’s legacy will be even stronger five years from now than it is now.

  22. SpinMaster

    October 7, 2018 at 11:34 am

    You know guys and gals, as we move into uncharted territory with the Orioles searching for new management, I think we need to step back and study how other franchises have been successful recently and not just launch into a frantic hiring spell.

    I know it isn’t popular to mention the Yankees to a Baltimore fan, but you have to admire their success in the last dozen years. They have not had a losing season for quite a while and how they have stocked their organization with players, should be studied. Notice that a lot of their players look like they could be on a pro football team and their bullpen seems to have nothing but flame thrower.

    That apparently is done for a reason. We need to study their success and since pro sports is a copy-cat environment, emulate it.

  23. Maka

    October 8, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    I certainly have a deep respect for Buck and would like to thank him for all he did for Baltimore. Truly a good man.. That being said, It was probably best that both to be replaced. With the exception of a couple of decisions that did not pan out, last September and this year, Buck did a pretty good job. If Buck was brought back, I would have been ok with that decision.

    Dan on the other hand absolutely needed to go and should not be entrusted with the rebuild. Dan was extremely short sighted. I look across the majors and see a very good most of a good rotation that was given away by Dan. I see Rodriquez with Boston; Davies with the Brewers; Park Bridwell with the Angels, and now Gausman with the Braves. For relievers and possible closer, Josh Hader and others. We had a clutch hitte in Nelson Cruz and the very steady Nick Markakis, and seem to replace them with Trumbo and others. Also the return we received for Britton, Scoop and Gausman is questionable at best. Dan indicated some of the some of the young pitchers were major league ready. Phillips and Cody could not through strikes! The other players may be questionable at best. And if we do not sign Victor Victor Mesa and others, the Gausman trade will look awful. It seems that Dan only looked at stats or farm system ranking and not probability of success at the major league level. And don’t get me started on rule 5 acquisitions, except to say it should be not the highlight of the offseason. . And how about the decision to bring in Beckham and his terrible defense or Jiminez who could not through strikes. After we got to know Dan and how he operated, he was probably in the lower tier of GMs in all of baseball. It appeared to me that we were constantly playing catch up from all of Dan’s bad decisions. No original thoughts, deep thinking or leadership. So there is no way Dan should have been brought back.

    Who ever replaces Dan and Buck must go back to the Oriole way of strong pitching and good defense. It never goes out of style.

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