Former Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter interviewed yesterday with the Houston Astros earlier this week for their managerial job. Showalter of course led the O’s from August of 2010 through the culmination of the 2018 season. Showalter led the O’s to their first playoff birth since 1997 in 2012, and their first division crown in as much time in 2014. His contract was not renewed at the end of 2018.
Personally I think it would be a perfect situation for Buck. It would probably be the most talented team by far that he would have inherited in his career. It’s a championship-caliber team, that will probably have a chip on it’s shoulder given the scandal which has erupted. Buck’s probably just the type of manager who would be able to put a stop to the type of antics which got Houston into this mess to begin with.
The flip side of course is the Orioles. More specifically, the Orioles’ fans. While it would be tougher to see him go to Boston because they’re in the Orioles’ division, I think it would be hard for a lot of people seeing Buck manage another team. And I’m not going to lie, you can count this non-biased writer as one of them.
While I understood why the Orioles wanted to make a clean break and go in a totally different direction after 2018, I did feel that Showalter should have had the opportunity to come back if he wanted to do so. I still feel that way. It wasn’t just the fact that he put a winning product on the field for the first time in so many years, it was that he restored pride to an organization and a city that had searched for it for so long.
That’s Buck Showalter’s legacy in Baltimore. It’s simple, but poetic. He restored pride to the Orioles. And in large part to the fans as well. He often said that he “got Baltimore.” And that’s important; it’s a city that a lot of people find difficult to “get,” for one reason or another. So would it be tough to see him in another uniform? Absolutely. But that’s how this business of baseball works sometimes.
Former Toronto manager John Gibbons is also reportedly going to interview for the job. Which direction they go is another story, but ANY organization would be lucky to have Buck Showalter at the helm. With that said, Orioles fans shouldn’t blame manager Brandon Hyde for not being Buck. Yes, personally I believe that Buck should still be here. But that’s not to say that Hyde isn’t a good guy for the job, and that he isn’t doing a decent job.
For what it’s worth, Houston comes to Camden Yards for a three-game set on Friday, June 5th. If Buck Showalter’s in the third base side visitors’ dugout, my hope is that Baltimore turns out that night and that weekend and shows it’s appreciation.