Baltimore Orioles: Buck Showalter questions a new counterpart


Steve DelVecchio wrote a very interesting article yesterday that was published on FOXsports (linked here). Apparently Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles had a comment or two regarding how new Miami manager Dan Jennings manages his bullpen (quote courtesy of Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald):

"They used what? Three guys three days in a row out of the bullpen to get it done? We’ll see how that works down the road."

I’ll be honest in that I was a bit surprised to see Showalter say that about a fellow manager. Now granted, Jennings probably isn’t thought of as a “fellow manager” quite yet by the people who are now his peers.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that Showalter shouldn’t have made those comments, especially given the fact that Jennings had the audacity to call out reliever Brian Matusz for something that his own players presumably do as well. But needless to say, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Showalter call out another manager like that. 

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But this is not to say that Showalter was incorrect in his assessment. Managers have to think ahead in terms of how they’re going to utilize their bullpen. How often do we see Showalter saying after a game that a certain reliever (or even position player) wasn’t available that day?

In fairness Jennings is new to the manager game, so this might be something that he’ll learn. But keep in mind that a few of Showalter’s predecessors managed to burn through their bullpens over the years, which certainly added to the records of those teams.

Incidentally, Showalter’s not the only manager questioning Jennings. Arizona manager Chip Hale had a few comments as well in a radio interview with former MLB general manager Jim Bowden (courtesy of Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald):

Courtesy of Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

"I’ve said this before: When you finish playing or get into Major League Baseball on the minor-league level, you say, ‘OK, what do I want to do? OK, I want to manage in the big leagues. What do I have to do? I’m going to bust my hump coaching and teaching and become the best manager at the minor-league level that I can, then get to the big leagues.’ It’s not looking like that track is going to be the way anymore."

If anything, that comes across as bitterness on the part of Hale, and quite frankly that’s something that I can indirectly understand. Let’s keep in mind that Jennings is still the de facto GM of the Miami Marlins.

So he in effect hired himself to be the field manager as well. In a way, it comes off as circumventing the system. While every situation is different, guys who paid their dues tend to not look kindly on someone who seemingly waltzes through the door and is suddenly on the same level as they are – and that goes for any industry.

Mind you, this is totally different than what Buck Showalter said. However it does illustrate the fact that Jennings made a leap for which he might not have been properly prepared when he decided to go into the dugout.

Some folks might look at Showalter and suggest that he’s bitter at being Jennings’ first win(s); however Showalter’s not the type of guy to worry about something like that. The point is that a guy who had managed in the past probably wouldn’t be burning through his bullpen at that rate. Which of course leads very nicely into Hale’s comments.

Again in fairness, Jennings might well end up being the greatest manager of all time. We see coaches in the NFL who are the team’s GM quite frequently.

However those are generally career coaches who have enough gravitas to get the title of GM as well – and they generally do have some business training, perhaps in college. Jennings’ situation is all but the opposite of that.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens as the season goes on in Miami, however needless to say a few of his counterparts have their eyebrows raised.

Next: Baltimore Orioles recall Clevenger; Matusz appear still pending