The Orioles, as is their wont, were in seemingly no hurry to start making actual decisions about their future this offseason. Having wrapped up the worst campaign in team history on Sunday, we heard nothing but crickets from The Warehouse as other teams, such as the Angels, Rangers, and Twins, got on with the dirty business of making staff changes.
That finally came to an end today, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Buck Showalter will not be back with the Orioles, in any capacity, in 2019. The usual beat writers like Roch and Eddie (bye, Eddie!) have since confirmed the news.
While not surprising, this news is of course hitting O’s fans pretty hard. Buck had a huge hand in bringing the Baltimore Orioles organization back from the dead. He was unquestionably the team’s best manager since the legendary Hall of Famer Earl Weaver. Unfortunately, though he entered 2018 53 games above .500 in orange and black, he will end up at 669-684 thanks to this year’s disastrous results on the diamond.
Non-Oriole fans will look at that overall record and think back to the still-running joke about Zach Britton not pitching in the 2016 Wild Card game and dismiss Buck, completely underestimating the impact he had on this city, organization, and team.
That said, you can’t win 47 games and expect to keep your job. That’s just the way things work. Did the Orioles have a roster full of AAAA guys over the last couple months? Sure they did. But they also had a legitimate roster of MLB players in April, May, and June, and they were still horrendous. If I’m going to give Buck credit for much of the good years (which I am!), then he has to also shoulder some blame for this season’s flaming dumpster fire.
I’ll have some more to say about this in the coming days, as, I expect, will a few other ESR bloggers. We need some time to collect our thoughts.
— Rachel Ullrich (@rachelullrich) October 3, 2018
For now, we’ll go with this: So long, Buck. Thanks for everything. We liked our guy.