Showalter’s annual team surprise on tap tonight
The Orioles entire team and coaching staff will start filtering back to the Ed Smith Stadium Complex Friday night for a 6 p.m. “meeting” that marks the annual surprise manager Buck Showalter is known for.
Showalter has long been on the belief that Spring Training is not just for teaching, but also for team building and the past two springs on the eve of the Orioles first-full squad workout players have been loaded up on buses and taken to a local movie theater. While the two years films differed, the message – a motivational montage featuring clips of the Orioles playing and other famous sports sequences – have essentially been the same.
This year’s exact outing is again a mystery, as Showalter likes to add-in the element of surprise and keep things quiet, with nothing more than a vague team meeting for players to report back for.
Showalter didn’t offer any details when asked if he had another surprise in store earlier in the week, joking with inquiring reporters that perhaps he’d do something Sarasota is more known for, such as the circus or a local comedy club. While he was managing the Texas Rangers, Showalter took his team to the Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz. one spring and had the players speak to fighter pilots and watch video of them in action.
“We’ve got backups; it’s all about the entertainment,” Showalter said. “There’s a lot of pressure on a lot of us that put it together because word kind of gets around and the guys are kind of wondering whats on your sleeve. I don’t want to get too predictable.”