Buck Is Hands Down the AL Manager Of The Year
There were rumors and questions around the sports world when Buck Showalter took the job in Baltimore. Why would he do that?
He had a good job at ESPN, which he had no reason to leave, especially for a team who had not been relevant past opening day since 1997.
If anything, he would have left to coach a team that was close if not already playoff caliber. But why the Orioles?
Buck — as Orioles fans have learned — does things his own way and only his way, and in the process has shut up every doubter.
Showalter has led the Orioles to a 76-60 record going into the biggest series of the season against the Yankees as the Bronx Bombers come to Baltimore. The Orioles have a pitching staff ERA of 3.99 which is 7th in the AL. Normally that would be nothing to get excited about, but in this case it is. The Orioles have not exactly been stellar on the bump in recent years. From the offensive side of the ball, the Orioles are fun to watch because in case you forgot, hitting home runs is awesome, and the O’s have 170 of them. However, stats aside, Buck has pressed the right button all year with his players. Who to start when, who to hit where, or who to bring up/send down. As fans, it got to the point we stopped questioning it and just went with the flow of the Orioles who seem to make 1000 transactions of some kind per day. Buck has made it a habit this year of sticking with the guys he believes in, even with all of the craziness of who is actually on the roster day by day. Case in point: Mark Reynolds, who from the power aspect has had the team on his back as of late. For Buck to stand by Reynolds like that with the Orioles big bat having an awful season shows something to a team and makes them want to play for a manager. This might be a big reason why the Orioles have been so good in one run and extra inning games because they believe in Buck just like he believes in them.
I could write page after page of the things Buck Showalter has done to help the Orioles on and off the field, but the main point is that he is a no-brainer for AL manager of the year.
The only coach who should even get a vote at all outside of Showalter is Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin. The difference in my mind is that the A’s have always been able to find hidden talent and then before you know it they are in the hunt come September no matter who the manager is.
For the Orioles, the biggest difference has been the Manager.
Case in point – Buck Showalter: AL Manager of the Year.