Former Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter was not hired by the Houston Astros this week. That distinction instead went to Dusty Baker. This off season Showalter interviewed with Philadelphia, the NY Mets, and now Houston. None of which offered him the managerial job.
Admittedly I’m surprised and disappointed in that development. I fully expected Buck to have a job this year if he wanted one – which the act of him interviewing says that he did. There are two “knocks” on Buck however as a manager. The first is that his insistence upon attention to detail can grow cumbersome.
And that may well have occurred in Baltimore. I know that it did in other places – such as Arizona, where he apparently threw a fit about the colors of the carpet in the clubhouse not matching up perfectly with the team colors. Speaking for myself, I’m somewhat detail-oriented myself. So I don’t have an issue with a manager who’s going to cover all of his bases to a T. That’s how it should be.
The other “knock” on Buck is that he doesn’t embrace analytics. Now not having been a player, I can’t tell you how analytically-driven Buck was or was not. However everyone has to use some sort of analytical approach in baseball. It’s part of the game. Buck’s point however is that you have to still have a feel for the game. And a lot of that is being lost with analytics.
So while I personally may be on board with Buck Showalter’s old school approach as stated above, did that potentially cost him a job? Furthermore, did the Orioles of the 2010’s win DESPITE Buck not embracing new age ways of operating? My personal view is that they won partly BECAUSE of Buck. And that opinion won’t change. But what do you think?