Results tagged ‘ Buck Showalter ’

Bucks defends Simon, Jays still not happy

The Blue Jays took issue with Alfredo Simon plunking Jose Bautista in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game, a sentiment manager Buck Showalter understood. But the O’s manager was puzzled as to Toronto’s thinking that it was intentional.

“Let me get this straight, we have one right-handed pitcher down there, we already
knew he was going to spell [Rick VandenHurk] And  I was going to call down there and say, hey, you
are my only guy and I want you to hit Bautista after throwing two balls away?,” Showalter said prior to Monday’s opener against the Rays.

“But I understand  how
it looks and I would have been upset about it too. And I would have done what the
umpire did.”

 Showalter was fined and suspended –served during Monday’s game — while Simon appealed his three-game sentence and is expected to hear back on Thursday. Both Simon and Showalter reiterated on Monday that they did not want to hit Bautista, who Simon called his friend.

“It can look that way I and I can tell you it wasn’t intentional,
but I understand it might look differently,” Showalter said. “When [Simon] hit him it really put us in
a tough spot, we really dint want to use [Matt] Albers or [David] Hernandez or any of the guys
we had to use yesterday.”

Bautista said the suspensions did not necessarily bring him any satisfaction.

“They were going to get what they deserved regardless,” he said to reporters. “I think they knew what they were doing. The second time I got
hit it was pretty obvious. I don’t care what their comments were after
the game. I did read them. I don’t believe what they said.”

“I think everybody felt that [hitting Bautista] was intentional,” said pitcher Shawn Marcum, who was fined for grazing Luke Scott with a pitch as rebuttal. “He was a seventh, eighth-inning guy throwing
in the fifth. I think he came in for one reason and one reason only.
Like I said, I guess that’s how they want to do things over there.”

Showalter on Bell forgetting the outs

Orioles rookie Josh Bell forgot how many outs there were in last night’s loss to the Red Sox, as he stepped on the third base bag with Marco Scutaro’s grounder and then threw to first for an unnecessary double play in the third inning. The play was harmless, but at this level that can’t happen.

Asked today if it was a concentration thing that was being addressed with Bell, manager Buck Showalter answered: yes and yes.

“I think Josh is trying to get through, whatever, anxiety there might be about the opportunity. He has some days where you can tell he is real comfortable,” Showalter said.

“It’s more of a reaction thing, that  he stepped on the bag. But the game should never catch you by surprise and that’s a concentration thing. You don’t expect or tolerate from anybody… It tells you need to have a little better concentration level.
 
They were all laughing in the dugout, asking [Ty Wigginton] what he was doing at first base. He had a great answer: ‘I couldn’t tell if he touched the bag and plus I was heading towards the dugout anyway. I just happened to stop there and the next thing I know he was throwing.’ With that being said, ‘It ain’t funny.’ [Bell] was embarrassed about it. Not good.”

Johnson to be activated Friday

CHICAGO– Orioles reliever Jim Johnson came through Tuesday’s two-inning stint with Double-A Bowie with no reported problems and he is expected to be activated for Friday’s series in Anaheim.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke with Johnson on Wednesday and said the right-hander didn’t experience any residual effects, which was the team’s only real concern. Johnson allowed one hit over two scoreless innings on Tuesday, striking out three, and will provide a boost to an Orioles bullpen currently without David Hernandez and Jason Berken.

Showalter said he wouldn’t hesitate to have Johnson (right elbow inflammation) throw multiple innings if needed, but he will try to stay away -initially at least — from using him on back-to-back days.

“But if the situation presents itself to, we feel confident using him period,” Showalter said of Johnson, who hasn’t appeared in a Major League game since April 30. “We wouldn’t bring him up if we didn’t think he was a go-guy. We will put him in the fire if we had to.”

Since Johnson is on the 60-day disabled list, the Orioles will need to clear a space on the 40-man roster with Berken the obvious choice. Berken is done for the season after an MRI earlier this month revealed a slight tear in his right labrum and rotator cuff inflammation.  

Bell trying to show what he can do

CLEVELAND– Struggling rookie Josh Bell said he’s not longer overanxious at the plate, but admits that most of his hitting problems are mental.

“I definitely have doubted myself a little bit,” said Bell, who is 3-for-20 with 11 strikeouts since his second call-up following July 29’s Miguel Tejada trade. “I’m not where I want to be, but I’ve definitely made strides towards it.”

Bell was on the field early on Wednesday afternoon with hitting coach Terry Crowley for some early extra hitting work -along with several other O’s – and said he was working on some “minor tweaks” to better attack the inside pitch.   

Orioles manager Buck Showalter gave Bell most of Tuesday’s game off -he entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth – with the expectation that he will likely start Wednesday and Thursday. While Bell’s .167 batting average leaves much to be desired, Showalter believes the 23-year-old pressing at the plate isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“You got to have some “want to” there,” Showalter said. “I’d a lot rather have that amount of caring than thinking ‘sera, sera’ this is always going to be here. I want them to have a sense of urgency.”

The Orioles top position prospect, Bell hadn’t played above Double-A until this season, and his accelerated development prompted president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to trade away Tejada and spend the final two months evaluating Bell’s “Major League-readyiness”.

But Bell has struggled on both sides of the field, and the third baseman enters Wednesday with three errors in 15 games.

“There are some things that I know that I’m just not doing on the field,” Bell said, citing cutting in front of shortstop Cesar Izturis in the ninth inning on Tuesday as one of those moments.

“I’ve been kind of standoffish I think. I just go to be more aggressive and trust myself. I’m putting things together as I go along.”

The Buck Starts Here

New Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t one for long-winded speeches and said he has learned from previous mistakes in trying to write or rehearse what he will tell his team prior to Tuesday’s inaugural game at the helm.

“It’s about actions,” Showalter said during Monday introductory press conference to introduce the organization’s 17th full-time manager. “Not lip service.”

Still, the 54-year-old Showalter had no shortage of words in his first encounter with the Baltimore media, speaking for approximately 40 minutes about his reputation as a micromanager, the decision to wear the late Johnny Oates’ No. 26, and how he will define success in taking over a 32-73 Oriole squad in the season’s finale two months. Here are the highlights from his Q&A…

On the challenge of restoring the Orioles to power in the American League East…
“I think all competitive people like the idea of something people saying it can’t be done, or ‘Are you kidding me?’,” Showalter said. “And I don’t say that out of lack of a respect for anybody that’s been here before…I think I’ve done my homework, I love the town, the tradition, the people the feeling. Everybody talks about the Cardinals in the National league in St. Louis, and the fans and there’s just a certain karma and feeling to the culture there. And I feel the same way about Baltimore.
 
On changing the mindset in the clubhouse…
“What we do from a competitive standout, [I] just want to be consistent with it and understand that we are trying to reach the same goal. And if someone doesn’t share those goals I’m sure they will be comfortable playing somewhere else.”

On bringing teams like the Yankees and Dbacks a year away from the World Series…
“It’s kind of like raising your daughter and then letting somebody else
walk her down the aisle. Hopefully, you get to walk her down the aisle
here.” [laughing]
 
“I think the flexibility here is very attractive. In Texas, we had a lot
of commitments to people who probably were not going to be a pile
jumper, so to speak, somebody you’ll see after Game 7 jumping on the
pile on the ground. That’s what it boils down to. You’re looking for 25 nuggets … . When you get 25 nuggets, you get to play in October. It’s as simple as that. It’s not near as complicated as everyone makes it out to be. … It’s got to be a product of everybody.”

On his focus for the Orioles the next two months…

“I think put ourselves in a position to make really good evaluations, for one thing. And to win as many baseball games we can within the context of doing what is best for the long term success of the Baltimore Orioles.
“Obviously you want to win baseball games. I’m not going to apologize for that. But you don’t want to get in the way of your long term success too. I understand some of the weaknesses I’ve seen and you want to identify why. The ’27 Yankees botched a run down, it happens but you want to identify why and not repeat it…I’m looking forward to these two months. I think it’s just a continuation of what we are going to do in the offseason.”

On his reputation as a micromanager

“I try to be true to my own skin, and it depends on who you talk to. Every situation calls for a different approach and I truly believe that. You do what you are asked to do and the one thing I’ve told [president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] is, I’ve only asked one thing, ‘if something’s going on that you aren’t happy with, you got to tell me.’ At least promise me that.
“But I am who I am. I understand. I’m not real sure what it is. I don’t spend a whole lot of time analyzing. I know what’s worked for the organization and the team I’ve worked for and it’s been written enough both ways. It’s kind of like the person you pick to deliver the eulogy at your funeral. There’s only one or two people who really, really know you. So I’ve come to grips with it, I live with it. And I try to do what’s best every day and move on.”

On selecting Oates’ number to wear…

“The first thing that came to mind was John. And he meant a lot to me in my life, the impact he had,” said Showalter, who called Oates’ family first to ask permission.
“It’s been five and a half years since John passed away, and not many days go by that I don’t think about how lucky I was to have him pass my way. He was pretty special.”
(As a side note, Oates will be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame on Saturday with a special pregame ceremony at Camden Yards.)

On restoring the Oriole way and reconnecting with former parts of the organization…
“If you can’t embrace the past, how are you going to go to the future? It’s a little bit about both, but you don’t become a prisoner to it. You take the good and bad, you try to melt it together. I hope everybody wants us to be successful. And we are going to need everybody’s support along the way, physically, mentally and emotionally.”
“I’m going to need and warrant and solicit help from people who have been here before and walked this walk,” Showalter said. “I don’t think there is a prouder organization in baseball … I really, sincerely believe that can happen again, but it’s really about the product on the field.”

On having the ability to acquire a difference-making player when the time is needed….
“Have you seen the movie Braveheart? Remember when Mel Gibson’s up on
the hill and he’s got all the spears back there and they’re outnumbered
like 5-to-1, and they’re charging up the hill and he’s screaming at
these guys, ‘Hold, hold, hold.’ And they’re looking at him like, ‘You’ve
got to be kidding me.’ Then at some point, he goes, ‘Now.”…That’s kind of the way it is [in signing that kind of player.].

I’d like for it to happen tomorrow or yesterday. I think
when that time is now, I feel real confident that Mr. Angelos and the
fans that support everything that helps us support the team will be
there for us. When that is, that’s going to be up to Andy, and at some
point I may go, ‘Now.’ I hope that happens. But it’s not always a
financial thing that does it. Now it’s about everybody pulling the same
direction starting this day forward.

Mel Gibson. Probably not a good
name to bring up right now. Who else starred in that?”

Orioles/Royals lineups and tibdits

*Buck Showalter called soon to be ex-interim manager Juan Samuel today to tell him how much he’d like Juan to stay on board.  Samuel said he will meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail when the team returns on Monday to discuss his future. Samuel has been offered back his third base job, but he acknowledged on Thursday it would be awkward to go back to that spot, particularly since he has never met or worked with Showalter. The sentiment is Samuel likely won’t stay (although the rest of the coaching staf will stay in place until the season ends.)
*Jason Berken hasn’t pitched since July 24, but interim manager Juan Samuel said there’s not to worry about.
“He is ready to pitch when we need him,” Samuel said.  We just wanted to give him some time off.”
*Nick Markakis is batting second now that Miguel Tejada is officially a Padre. Josh Bell is here but he can’t play until tomorrow due to the 10-day rule when you get optioned down. So the O’s will play with a short bench, consisting of backup catcher Jake Fox and Julio Lugo tonight.

ORIOLES LINEUP:
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Adam Jones CF
Felix Pie LF
Matt Wieters C
Corey Patterson DH
Cesar Izturis SS
Jake Arrieta RHP

ROYALS LINEUP:
Chris Getz 2B
Jason Kendall C
Billy Butler 1B
Jose Guillen DH
Rick Ankiel CF
Wilson Betemit 3B
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mitch Maier RF
Sean O’Sullivan RHP

Os Reax to Showalter hiring

With the news that Buck Showalter has been named the Orioles manager, here are some reactions from inside the clubhouse today.

KEVIN MILLWOOD (who played under Showalter in Texas and remains in close contact with him)

[on his reaction to the hiring] “It’s going to take a lot more than a manager to get a team going in the right direction. I think Buck’s going to do a good job for us, he’s done a good job every where he’s been. It’s just going to be coming down to the simple point of guys buying into what he preaches.”
 
[on Showalter's no nonsense approach] “I think cutting back on some nonsense wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe just new blood around here, maybe that will help. Obviously, something needs to change and I think  [interim manager Juan Samuel] did a good job, but sometimes you got to take someone from the outside coming in to really make the kind of change that they need.”

It will definitely be nice to know who is going to be here for however long, and not worried about whether he’s getting fired at the end of the season and in the offseason. This season you are going to end up with him and you are going to go into Spring Training with him and probably have him for a while after that. So, a little stability goes a long way.”

MATT WIETERS

[on his initial reaction to the hiring of Showalter] “We’ve been hearing about it a lot over the last month or so we were certainly aware that the situation might happen. It’s something that it doesn’t really matter who the manager is, the players are going to have to play better and we’re all going to have to pull together and play better as a team. Maybe this will give us a more continuous face at the head.

I’ve loved both managers [Dave Trembley and Samuel] that I’ve had since I’ve been here, but now that I know that this guy is going to probably be here for a while. I never met the guy so I’m definitely going to be coming in with eyes wide open and see what he’s all about. It will be good that you’ll have a manager that’s probably going to be here for a long time.”

[on what he's heard about Showalter]: “He goes into places and he commands respect and he’s going to sort of preach his ways and the places that he’s been, he’s been able to turn around some teams and be successful. Everybody in this clubhouse wants to turn things around.”

BRIAN ROBERTS

[on his reaction] “First and foremost, you feel bad for the guys that came before him. I think we still feel bad for Dave and Juan’s done a great job filling in. I think always, the guys that have been around for a while, and the ones that have been here, you hope that they have a chance. We know now that it’s going to be Buck. I’ve heard good things. I heard he’s very prepared and certainly his reputation over the years is very good. He’s managed winning teams. Hopefully, it will be something good for us.”

[on Buck bringing some changes to the organization] “I’m sure he’s going to change some things. I think every manager is a little bit different. I don’t know how much can be changed. I don’t think any of us really know that at this point. I guess Millwood could give us a little bit of an idea of what’s coming. I think it’s just going to be something that we’re going to have to experience and see where he takes us.

[on finally knowing what's going to happen] “Direction, I think stability is always a good thing. I don’t think any organization, any company wants to be in an unstable place. Hopefully, this will bring some stability and hopefully this will be something that will be a lasting decision, and it will maybe go even beyond that. I think it’s a good starting point. When he gets here on Tuesday, we’ll see where we’re at.”

NICK MARKAKIS

“With the situation we are in, it is nice to know that we are going to have a permanent solution as far as the manager goes. It’s been tough, Juan’s been doing a good job, but the organization feels that we needed to have a long-term manager. And I think for the team and the organization it’s the right decision.”

[on what he knows about Showalter] “Nothing, never met him.  You hear what you hear but you don’t know what you are going to get until he talks to us, Tuesday. And we will go from there.”

JEREMY GUTHRIE

“I really don’t know anything about Buck other than I’ve heard a few players say they enjoyed playing for him. He expects a lot of his players, pays attention to details. That’s about the extent I’ve heard of him as a manager. I’m eager to see his knowledge of the game, just watching baseball tonight and ESPN programs. He has a tremendous track record, it’s probably one of the things that was most appealing to us in our situation is a guy who has been there and had a ton of success in his career.”

[on possible changes coming with Showalter as manager] “Yes I think he’s definitely here to change things. It makes sense for them to bring in fresh perspective, bring in a different attitude, someone who hasn’t necessarily been part of the orioles but has seen what we have gone through the past years. And try that approach. In the four years I’ve been here that’s an approach we haven’t taken yet. I can’t speak for [president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] but I’m sure that’s part of what went into the decision making to bring Buck on board.”

[on finally having a long-term manager in place] “It will certainly provide stability and give us a foundation to start building off. As it is it feels like maybe we’ve been building kind of on a temporary foundation. But now Buck will arrive next week and he will begin his project of getting this team back where it should be.”

Samuel ponders his future

KANSAS CITY–Interim manager Juan Samuels’ temporary tenure with the Orioles will end with Sunday’s series finale in Kansas City. Baltimore made the hiring of Buck Showalter official on Thursday afternoon, and the new skipper will be unveiled in a press conference on Monday, leaving Samuel -who will move back to third base coach — to ponder his future in the organization.

“I have not met Buck at all,” Samuel said. “I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable, I don’t want to feel uncomfortable myself. So, I’m going to think about [what to do] in the next few days. And it’s a decision I’m going to make at the end of this weekend.”

Samuel, who entered Thursday with a 16-31 record as Orioles manager, acknowledged it will be tough to go back to his former position at third base and said he will undoubtedly “throw in his hat” in other managerial openings, both now and down the road.

“I don’t think it could get any tougher [to manage] than the situation that we are in,” said Samuel who took over after the dismissal of Dave Trembley (15-39) on June 4.

“Hopefully this opportunity will give me that [respect] and people will probably notice that Sammy can do it. And when managerial jobs open my name will be in there. I think I can do this. Yes, if the opportunity comes up I’d love to do it again.”

Samuel said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail was very communicative in the managerial search, and he spoke with MacPhail on Thursday morning about Showalter’s hiring.

“I thanked him for the opportunity because it was a tremendous opportunity for me,” Samuel said of his first managerial gig. “You never know you can do something until you start doing it.

“This was a great, great experience for me, it was a great school. I look at it that way. Nothing but positive could come out of this.”

Showalter hired

showalter.jpg

Buck Showalter was named the Orioles manager on Thursday, a move that will officially put him in the dugout when the team returns home on Tuesday.  An official press conference is scheduled for Monday, and Showalter’s deal runs through the 2013 season.

The rest of the Orioles coaching staff will remain in place with interim manager Juan Samuel moving back to third base and current third base coach Gary Allenson going back to Norfolk to manage the Tides. 
 
The 54-year-old Showalter has a tough task in helping a young Baltimore squad reestablish itself in the American League East. The Orioles are 31-70 and are well on their way to clinching their 13th consecutive losing season.

The man that friend and current Oriole Kevin Millwood called “the most prepared individual” he’s ever met, Showalter will be the Orioles 10th manager since Peter Angelos became the principal owner of the Orioles in August 1993. He will assume the full-time position vacated by Dave Trembley on June 4.

There has been no word on who Showalter will employ on his coaching staff although president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has said that the new manager will get to select his staff.

Showalter, who recently served as a baseball analyst for ESPN, met with Orioles brass several times, including a nearly three-hour formal interview on June 23. MacPhail, who is notoriously close to the vest, confirmed the meeting but did not publicly comment on any of the O’s candidates, a list which included MASN broadcaster and ex-Oriole Rick Dempsey, former Indians skipper Eric Wedge and ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine, who later withdrew his name.

Given MacPhail’s emphasis on experience the notoriously detailed Showalter quickly became the front-runner, with several national media outlets speculating the deal would be completed long before it was actually made official.

“I think we want to get it right, whether it’s in two weeks or two months [is] probably not as important as getting the right guy,” MacPhail said on June 23, which was also the day Valentine officially withdrew his name in hopes of landing a job with Florida.

“I don’t think, frankly given our place in the standings, urgency is as paramount as it might be to a team like the Marlins who are still a few game within striking distance.”

Showalter was named American League Manager of the Year twice — in 1994 and 2004 -and has compiled an 882-833 record in 11 years with the Yankees, D-backs and Rangers. He is credited in many circles for jump-starting the Yankees dynasty of the 1990s, and both New York and Arizona won the World Series the year after he left.  Showalter’s last year managing was ’06 with the Rangers, which is where he struck up a close relationship with Millwood, who still plays golf with him in the offseason. 

“Whether you mesh with a group of guys or not, you never know how that’s going to work out,” Millwood said. “But I think he’s definitely qualified.”

Millwood said the biggest factor in a managerial switch is getting the players’ respect, which is something he feels Showalter could do right away.

“I know guys respect [interim manager Juan Samuel],” Millwood said. “If you are going to bring somebody else in, I think to play hard for somebody you have to respect him.

“You would think [Showalter would get respect]. [But] you just have to wait and see. I think everybody is being prepared for what’s coming.” 

Dickerson leaves Tides for a few days

The Orioles affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, will be managed by Minor League Roving Catching Instructor Don Werner until Monday. I’m told interim manager Bobby Dickerson is home for a few days, to make up for the vacation time he lost when promoted from roving Minor League instructor to interim manager. 

This could be nothing. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Dickerson happens to be extremely close to Buck Showalter, who is rumored to be nearing a deal to manage the Orioles. Dickerson played under Showalter while in the Minors and was the Arizona Diamondbacks infield instructor 1998-1999, part of the three years Showalter was at the helm.

I know the two have great respect for each other and that Dickerson would jump at the chance to join a Major League staff in any capacity.

Again, it could be nothing. This is pure speculation on my part, and Dickerson is expected to rejoin the Tides on Monday. Still, it’s rather interesting timing to be taking an extended, non-emergency leave… 

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