The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the world find themselves on the last day of the decade today. Tomorrow begins the 2020’s. Here I was thinking that “the ’20’s” were a thing of the past – as in the decade in which my grandparents were born. Little did I know that they’d be in my own future!
However it goes without saying that Buck Showalter is the Orioles’ unofficial manager of the decade for the 2010’s. If for no other reason, he was the skipper for the majority of those ten years. But it goes deeper than that.
Showalter brought pride back to the Orioles’ organization. The O’s has gone through perhaps a decade or so of faceless teams in a sense, where guys perhaps were cashing a paycheck more so than trying to win. Showalter put a stop to that.
He embraced the Baltimore community, saying on more than one occasion that he “got Baltimore.” But the sum of the parts were that he won. The pride that he restored to the clubhouse and that he restored to the community (pride in the team) all came to a head on the field. He returned the Orioles to the postseason in 2012, won the AL East in 2014, and went to the playoffs again in 2016.
Granted, that era in Orioles’ history is always going to be absent a World Series title. But given what the previous decade plus had been in Birdland, these years will be seen as extremely meaningful. And the cost of it all? ONE BUCK.