Tag:Buck Showalter
Posted on: April 13, 2011 1:07 pm

Showalter is right for O's -- at least for now

NEW YORK -- Buck Showalter thinks about everything.

Sometimes that's good.

An Orioles clubhouse that seemed unfocused and often uninterested before he arrived seems far more professional with Showalter in charge. Even many of his detractors will admit now that he was exactly the manager the Orioles needed when they hired him last summer (although they'll also point out that Showalter took over at the perfect time, when the down-and-out O's were finally getting healthy).

Showalter preached accountability, and since the players knew that he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon (unlike with predecessor Dave Trembley and interim manager Juan Samuel), they had little choice but to listen when he spoke.

He had plenty to say. Showalter is so organized and studies so much that some people who know him contend that he knows more about the Orioles' opponents than they know about themselves.

But Showalter can never limit himself to that.

He thinks about everything (everything baseball-related, anyway). He has an opinion about how everything should be done (whether he chooses to share it or not).

Take Tuesday, when Showalter met with reporters before the O's game against the Yankees was rained out.

He answered questions about his team, and about the Yankees. And then, unsolicited, he began preaching about bullpen mounds.

"In today's day and age, we have mounds on the playing surface," he said. "Imagine mounds at the free-throw line in the NBA."

He has a point. It's easy to understand why bullpen mounds can't be moved behind a fence at Wrigley Field, but it's hard to imagine why they were built to be in play (in foul territory, but still in play) at newer ballparks like Tropicana Field and AT&T Park.

A reasonable point, but it seemingly came out of nowhere. The bullpen mounds aren't in play at Camden Yards, the Orioles' home. They're not in play at Yankee Stadium, where the Orioles are playing this week. They're not in play at Cleveland's Progressive Field, where the Orioles play next.

So far as I can tell, it's not an issue anyone else in the game has been discussing this week.

But that's Showalter. That's what you get.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 13, 2010 10:50 am
Edited on: August 13, 2010 10:55 am

3 to watch: The Beat S.D.? edition

In San Francisco, they hate the Dodgers. It's that simple. They hate Dodger Blue. They hate Tommy Lasorda.

In San Diego, they hate the Dodgers. No doubt about it. There's nothing they love to chant more than "Beat L.A.!"

But the Dodgers aren't going to be at AT&T Park this weekend. The Padres are.

The Dodgers aren't leading the Giants by 2 1/2 games in the National League West. The Padres are.

Who knows if Giants-Padres hatred is even possible. Maybe this is the weekend we find out.

Thank you, Jonathan Sanchez.

Sanchez is no Brandon Phillips, but he did "guarantee" that the Giants will sweep the Padres in these three games, and then go on to make the playoffs.

"We're going to play San Diego now and we're going to beat them three times," he said, after losing his last start, Sunday in Atlanta. "If we get to first place, we're not going to look back."

No, it's not exactly "little bitches" material. And he's no Joe Namath.

But it's better than everyone getting together and laughing about the Dodgers being nine games out.

Or is it?

On to 3 to watch:

1. The Padres know how good Sanchez can be, because he no-hit them last year. He hasn't beaten them in four meetings since, but two of those were 1-0 losses to Mat Latos earlier this season. Sanchez may be happy to know that he won't be facing Latos in Padres at Giants, Friday night (10:15 ET) at AT&T Park . Clayton Richard, who has a 6.69 ERA over his last seven starts, will open the series for the Padres, with Latos facing Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, and Wade LeBlanc opposing Tim Lincecum on Sunday.

2. Now this is a rivalry, Cubs and Cardinals. Except that the Cardinals just got done fighting with the Reds, and the Cubs aren't a factor in the National League Central. And Carlos Zambrano, who starts in Cubs at Cardinals, Saturday afternoon (4:10 ET) at Busch Stadium , has done a lot more to anger Cubs fans than he has to upset Cardinal fans. Chris Carpenter, who played a big part in stirring up the Cardinals-Reds feelings, starts for St. Louis.

3. This is not a rivalry, Orioles and Rays. But with the O's seemingly revived under Buck Showalter, it'll be interesting to see whether they have any effect on the American League East race. Including this weekend, the Orioles have nine games remaining with Tampa Bay, six games left with the Red Sox, and six left with the Yankees. We may know more by the time 24-year-old Jake Arrieta faces 23-year-old Jeremy Hellickson, in Orioles at Rays, Sunday afternoon (1:40 ET) at Tropicana Field .

Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:40 pm

Buck choice wasn't unanimous

Buck Showalter could turn out to be the right choice for the Orioles. But he was hardly a unanimous choice.

Sources familiar with the team said that owner Peter Angelos originally favored former Oriole Rick Dempsey, who he thought would excite the fans and fire up his team. General manager Andy MacPhail, meanwhile, was said by sources to favor ex-Indians manager Eric Wedge.

Angelos was talked out of Dempsey by people who work for him, and Showalter was his second choice. Since Angelos favored Showalter, he got the job.

Angelos' meddling is nothing new, and it's one reason that some people close to the team wonder if the Orioles will ever win again under his ownership. The Orioles have enough good young talent that they should be a perfect turnaround candidate, but it will take support from ownership that hasn't always been there in the past.

Showalter, who has proven adept at turning losers into winners -- if not at turning them into champions) -- could be a strong enough personality to overcome the obstacles. He has dealt with strong owners before at each of his three previous stops.

In any case, the best thing the Orioles did was to get the manager in place now, giving him time to watch the team from the inside for the final two months of the season. By October, Showalter should have a much better idea of which current players need to go, and which ones could be part of a better future.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:49 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 2:17 pm

Showalter to be named O's manager next week

Buck Showalter will be the next manager of the Orioles.

A source familiar with the talks confirmed to CBSSports.com that the Orioles are putting the finishing touches on Showalter's contract, and expect to introduce him at a press conference Monday. The Orioles, whose 31-70 record is the worst in baseball, are off Monday and open a seven-game homestand Tuesday against the Angels.

The 54-year-old Showalter last managed in the big leagues with the Rangers, in 2006. He spent 11 seasons with the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers, earning a reputation for being able to turn around losing franchises, but never taking any of the teams to the top.

The Yankees and Diamondbacks both won the World Series in the season immediately after Showalter was fired.

Showalter had been considered a strong candidate in Baltimore since soon after the Orioles fired Dave Trembley on June 4. While Juan Samuel won praise for his work as the interim manager, the Orioles went 16-31 on his watch and he wasn't given serious consideration for the full-time job.

Showalter's hiring was never a slam dunk, though.

Sources familiar with the team said that owner Peter Angelos originally favored ex-Oriole Rick Dempsey, thinking that Dempsey would excite the fans and fire up his team. Meanwhile, according to multiple sources, general manager Andy MacPhail wanted to hire ex-Indians manager Eric Wedge.

Angelos apparently was talked out of hiring Dempsey by people who work for him, and Showalter was his second choice. MacPhail was said to strongly believe that the Orioles needed a manager with prior big-league experience, preferably one who had taken a team to the postseason.

Showalter's hiring was first reported by his current employer, ESPN.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com