Thursday, July 29, 2010

Orioles Hire Showalter as New Skipper

Well, the Juan Samuel era is just about over in Baltimore.

The Orioles have hired Buck Showalter to be their new manager effective Tuesday. Showalter is under contract with the O's through 2013.

Since Samuel was named interim manager after Dave Trembley was dismissed on June 4th, the Orioles have gone 17-31 after going 15-39 under Trembley. I would like to have seen Samuel get more of a chance but thems the breaks.

Showalter has previously managed the New York Yankees (1992-1995), the Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and the Texas Rangers (2003-2006). He guided the Yankees to the AL Wild Card in 1995 and the D'Backs to the NL West championship in 1999. However, Showalter enjoyed only one winning season with the Rangers.

The year after Showalter left the Yankees and D'Backs both clubs won World Series. I predicted the Rangers would do the same in 2007 when Showalter was replaced with Ron Washington. In fact, I titled my 2007 MLB predictions "The Buck Showalter Effect." Except the Rangers didn't win the Fall Classic in 2007. With the Rangers in first place in 2010 perhaps the Showalter effect has lag time under certain circumstances.

At 32-70 and 31 and a half games out of first place in the AL East, the Orioles currently own the worst record in MLB. The O's haven't had a winning season since 1997. Showalter is well aware of these facts. The question remains what he will do to change those facts.

N.B. When I was in Thunder Bay last week watching the World Juniors my father and I bumped into a big Orioles fan win or lose. How big? He named his sons Camden and Cal. Now that's devotion to a lost cause.

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