One of the biggest questions that lingers for the Baltimore Orioles is the status of manager Buck Showalter. We all know what’s going on; Showalter, along with GM Dan Duquette, is in the final year of his contract. The team as it stands now is vastly different than the one he set out coaching at the beginning of the season. And the immediate future looks different as well.
The hope however certainly is that the not-so-distant future looks bright with the plethora of young talent that’s come into the organization. But the question burns, what will become of Buck? He’s said on numerous occasions that Baltimore will be his final managing job. I suppose you never say never, but I suspect that the odds of him going to another team are very slim.
We’ve heard numerous rumblings out of ownership that the manager’s office will remain Buck’s if he wants to be there. We’ve also heard that owner Peter Angelos is increasingly detached from team operations, and that his sons John and Lou are in essence the de facto “owners.” Do they buy into the philosophy that the job is Buck’s if he wants it?
That’s actually another conversation for another day. What I’m saying is that the job should be Buck’s if he want’s it. Detractors will point at this year and this year only as evidence that he shouldn’t return. However I would invite fans to take a look back further than just to April. Buck Showalter helped to revamp this franchise from 2010-2012, on from which they were a perennial contender – until now.
Not only that, but he restored pride to an organization, fan base, and city that direly needed it. Orioles fans were sick and tired of managers who really shouldn’t be managers coming being shipped in and then shipped out. So a change was made, and in 2010 Showalter (who had been working for ESPN) was brought in.
The results were almost immediate, and almost all positive. The difference was that Buck Showalter had been around the game a long time, and fans in essence already knew him. But that aside, he brought the Orioles to where fans questioned if they could actually go again. That should never be lost on Orioles fans.
Again, the decision should be Showalter’s. That means his decision could also be to walk away. I don’t think he would do so on account of having to rebuild, because he seems like a guy who understands that process and who doesn’t mind it. But he, like all of us, has to weigh his options. As an example, he became a grandfather for the first time awhile back; that’s kind of a game-changer.
Point obviously being that for all anyone knows he might feel that it’s time for him to not be managing anymore. Now with that said I do think that if that was going to be his decision, he’d announce his intention to step down after the season – so as to give him some time to say goodbye to the fans, and vice-versa. But at this point we don’t know.
There are plenty of people who will disagree with this – and that’s okay. All I’m saying is that with his track record and with what he’s meant to this city, the decision should belong to Buck Showalter. Many people argue that the Orioles need a fresh face in the dugout. But with someone as accomplished and tenured as Buck, you don’t just shove him out the door.
The Orioles will tonight open a short two-game set with the New York Mets at Camden Yards. Andrew Cashner gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Jason Vargas. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.