Baltimore Orioles: Is Buck Showalter next?
Let me preface this by saying that this column is in effect more of a satire than anything else. However my hope is that it raises an interesting question in people’s minds. Whether or not the Baltimore Orioles end up agreeing to send Dan Duquette to Toronto remains to be seen. That’s something that Peter Angelos needs to figure out with the powers that be in Toronto. However having said that, what about Buck Showalter?
As we know, the rule of thumb in the business is that if another team wants to hire one of your people for a job which would be a promotion, you shouldn’t stand in the way – even apparently if it’s right before the winter meetings or in January. So the question here might now be if Duquette leaves, who would be going with him? Ironically, one might argue that by stringing this out as long as they are (the initial story of course broke early last month), the Orioles are all but allowing Duquette to pick which members of the organization he might want to bring to Toronto – so does that include perhaps someone closer to the field?
Again, this is more of a satire than anything else. However Toronto comes across as just the type of organization that would pull a stunt such as offer a manager a promotion on paper just to nab him for their services. We know that Buck Showalter has expressed interest in playing a front office role in the past, and ower Peter Angelos decided that he was too valuable to lose in the dugout. (And make no mistake about the fact that Showalter has a voice when it comes to the front office in Baltimore.) But ultimately what happens if Toronto was to offer him a managerial spot with a token title in the front office?
If we’re going by the written rule of the unwritten code, that’s technically a promotion and thus the Orioles shouldn’t stand in the way – right? If something like that were to happen (and let me say that I don’t foresee anything along those lines), I don’t think it would be now. First off John Gibbons is Toronto’s manager. But what happens if they have another lackluster season, and decide to make a change? If they’re dressing up the title of GM in order to nab Duquette from a division rival (a move incidentally with which MLB seems to have no issues…interestingly), could they not do the same with a manager?
The saving grace in that scenario is that Showalter has always seemed to be dedicated to the Orioles’ organization. This is not to say that Dan Duquette is not, however the fact is that we don’t hear him singing the praises publically like we do with Showalter. I’d be shocked if the scenario I’m suggesting here came to pass at any point, however the fact is that you never know.
It’s worth mentioning that Peter Angelos gave both Showalter and Duquette generous contract extensions after the 2012 season – Duquette’s first in Baltimore. So one would be hard-pressed to argue that either one hasn’t been “taken care of” in a sense. As I’ve insinuated previously, this is merely an attempt by a division rival to take what the Orioles have. The hope of course is that at some point that attitude doesn’t include other important pieces of the organization.