What has Buck Showalter Won?
The Orioles' skipper is providing bulletin board material in the AL East by questioning whether Theo Epstein is any good as a GM and Derek Jeter's instincts when he takes inside pitches. Why? You would think that if you were the Orioles' manager, you'd lay low and hope that the Red Sox and Yankees would take you very lightly in between games against each other and the Rays, among other very good teams. Instead, you are provoking the giants, which only ensures that they'll take specific glee in beating the tar out of you and keeping you perpetually in the cellar. Can you say Pittsburgh Pirates of the AL (East), anyone? Sheesh. There are those who say that Showalter is a good manager, and perhaps he is, but you would think that he'd have more things to worry about than publicly commenting on his opposition. You would think that he'd know that he's a manager now and not still a talking head. And, finally, you would think the he wants to leave a legacy of a title somewhere, and not just be the next Gene Mauch. And if you're under 45 and have never heard of Mauch, there's a reason. Google the Phillies in 1964 and the Angels in the early 1980's, and you'll see that his teams almost got there but just quite didn't. The '64 Phillies were up 6 1/2 with 12 to play, only to finish in third place. That spectre loomed over Philadelphia for a long time, and thankfully for Phillies' fans the Mets' blowing a 7 1/2 game lead with 17 to play eclipsed the Phillies' meltdown in 1964. As for the Angels, they were within one strike of the World Series before their bullpen collapses. So, Buck, what should you really be concerned about? That when the Red Sox and Yankees play you in Baltimore, not only will there be more fans of the visiting team there, but that they'll be very loud, and giving you grief every time. Surely, you'll generate more interest in these rivalries, but at what cost and for what purpose?