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O’s Make a Huge Mistake Firing Showalter

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O’s Make a Huge Mistake Firing Showalter

Jack Corcoran, Staff

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If the rumors are indeed true, the Orioles will be parting ways with longtime manager Buck Showalter at the end of the year while at the same time extending GM Dan Duquette. While this year’s Orioles team has arguably the worst in the club’s history, it doesn’t all fall on Buck. It falls more on the man they are extending.

When Buck Showalter came to Baltimore, the Orioles had endured a 14 year stretch where they had not made the playoffs. What did Buck do? He worked his magic and pushed the worst team in baseball to 34 wins over their final 57 games. Showalter’s best two years as a manager were in 2012, where he brought the Orioles to the first playoff berth in over 15 years with a 93-69 record, and 2014, where the O’s were able to win 96 games, the AL East, and they notched their first series in the millennium in the divisional series against the Detroit Tigers.

Meanwhile, what has GM Dan Duquette done? Did he draft Manny Machado? Nope, that was under Andy McPhail’s regime. Did he ever find a quality starting pitcher? If Ubaldo Jimenez and his 5.22 ERA across four years in Baltimore qualifies as a quality starting pitcher. All Duquette has done is inherit the talent from his predecessor and bungle it, by not re-signing still productive Nelson Cruz and trading longtime Oriole Nick Markakis, who was an All-Star this year. The only thing that Duquette has done well was to get a hefty prospect haul for Manny Machado, but then again, it will be years before those moves pan out, and there is a huge potential it will fail.

Plus, if the Orioles are getting rid of Showalter, who will they get? The top candidate out there is Joe Girardi, but will he want to take on a rebuilding job with the Orioles? Also, it has been rumored that he was fired by the Yankees because he couldn’t connect with his younger players, but if the Orioles are transitioning to a rebuilding phase with younger prospects, would he be a good fit? Outside of former managers, there are candidates like San Francisco Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens, who was a finalist for the Yankees managerial position last year, but he was removed from his hitting coach position last year for running an ineffective group of hitters. Are any of these candidates going to be better than Showalter? Doubtful.

The Orioles being on pace for 116 losses falls on the entire organization, yet they are making Showalter the scapegoat. Why? He didn’t construct this roster, Duquette and organization golden child Brady Anderson did. The Orioles haven’t gotten by on talent these past few years, and even when they were successful, they got by on Showalter’s managing skills, not on Duquette’s roster. If the Orioles are serious at rebuilding from the ground up, they should be starting completely over or leaning on the fact that they have a top five manager in all of baseball in Showalter, not extending a bottom five GM.

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O’s Make a Huge Mistake Firing Showalter