Buck Showalter will return to the bench next Tuesday as the skipper of the Baltimore Orioles. I believe this is a good choice by the Orioles. Showalter won 882 games in 11 years of managing. He was Manger of the Year twice in the American League. He helped lay the foundation of what became the latest Yankee dynasty. If the 1995 season wasn’t cut short by the players strike, I think Showalter would have at least one ring.
Showalter knows the game and from his experience in New York, knows how to handle pressure from the fans and team ownership. Let us be honest however, there is much work to do be done. Currently the Orioles sit in last place in the A.L. East. As I have stated before, that division is the best in baseball. The Orioles will not contend anytime in the near future. They have no star player or players to build around.
There is another problem that Baltimore faces, the Washington Nationals. The Orioles need to maintain a fan base if they want to attract good players. The advent of Strasburg in Washington represents competition for fans within the region. It is only a matter of time before the National’s begin to build a team around Strasburg.
Secondly, Philadelphia is not far from Baltimore. Today’s acquisition of Roy Oswalt shows what regional teams are willing to do to win. Kevin Millwood’s 5.96 ERA simply won’t do anything to attract fans to Camden Yards. From top to bottom Baltimore needs a significant overhaul of their roster.
Aside from Cal Ripken Jr. coming out of retirement, time will tell how Showalter will do, but his coming to Baltimore as manager is a start.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
Statistical data: baseball-reference.com.