The press conference introducing Buck Showalter as manager lasted about 43 minutes and included a few unexpected quips. He often wears a serious look, but he also has a nice sense of humor.
I’ll attach some quotes later, but I wanted to pass along a few points:
* Juan Samuel will remain in the organization in a special assignment role that will include checking out the Dominican facility. Gary Allenson will continue to serve as third base coach for the rest of the season.
* No word on whether Showalter will bring in any new coaches. Everyone is being evaluated, he said, including himself.
* Showalter will wear No. 26 in honor of former Orioles catcher and manager Johnny Oates. Showalter regards Oates, who managed him in the minors, as a mentor. Coincidentally, Oates’ family will be in town this weekend for the Hall of Fame ceremony.
* Showalter isn’t prepared to lay out a plan for the team or suggest upcoming changes. He’s observed that the club played hard for Samuel, but he needs time to evaluate everyone beyond what he’s seen on television.
* President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the Orioles need “an identity as a franchise,” and he believes Showalter can make it happen. He also noted how he wanted a manager who brought experience creating a winning environment and had been exposed to a young roster.
* Showalter understands the challenges of competing in the AL East, but he won’t use them as an excuse for losing. “Tampa Bay has eliminated a lot of those excuses,” he said.
* MacPhail noted that Showalter will be asked for his input on player development, but probably not amateur scouting.
* MacPhail said Showalter’s reputation as a micromanager wasn’t a concern when making the hire. “It was not an issue,” he said.
* Showalter rented an apartment in New York while he managed the Yankees, figuring it was a good idea, but he bought homes in Arizona and Texas. He plans to have a permanent residence in Baltimore.