Laurila: Q&A with Buck Showalter, Orioles manager

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on September 16, 2014:

The Baltimore Orioles are about to win the American League East and Buck Showalter, in all likelihood, will be named Manager of the Year. The latter is quite an accomplishment for someone who refers to himself as a slapdick with a limited shelf life.

Showalter’s track record isn’t that of a slapdick. As for the self-deprecation, the 58-year-old skipper’s way with words matches his ingenuity, which lies somewhere between fox and far-sighted facilitator. In an interview four years ago – three months before he was hired to manage the Orioles – he told me, “You always have to keep your eye on the end game.” To the surprise of most prognosticators, Showalter may be on his way to leading his team to its first World Series title in over 30 years.

Showalter on the Orioles’ identity: “As an organization, one of the most important things you can do is know who you are, and who you’re not. When I first came here, we talked about that a lot: ‘Who are we and how are we going to do this?’ You can’t confuse your fans. We look within first and spend a lot of time – like every other club does – preffing [sic] six-year free agents. We look like we have a 75-man roster, because it’s going to come out of Norfolk, Bowie and here. When you have a game like [September 7], where 20-something guys make a contribution, there’s a great morale that comes out of that.

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Originally published: September 16, 2014. Last Updated: September 16, 2014.