The wins keep coming - seven in the last eight games - and fans keep wondering how much credit should go to the new manager.
I don’t think it’s possible to come up with an exact formula. Would any pie chart - as opposed to a Pie chart - be totally accurate?
No matter how you slice it, Buck Showalter has made a positive impact on this organization. There’s more energy, more focus. We kept hearing talk of players being held accountable, but perhaps they believe it more when the words come from a two-time Manager of the Year with a three-year contract.
I find it disappointing that some guys needed the extra motivation, but nonetheless...
Showalter is pushing all the right buttons, as I wrote last night. But seven straight quality starts can’t be laid entirely at his feet. Same with all those hits with runners in scoring position.
But it can’t just be coincidence, right?
I’m so confused.
The players respect Showalter. Dare I say that more than a few might fear him, too?
Physically, he’s not an intimidating presence. I think I could take him. I had no shot with Juan Samuel. But seriously, he makes everyone sit up a little straighter the moment he walks into a room.
It wasn’t Romper Room with the other managers, but there’s just been a different feel ever since Showalter took over, and it’s not easily explained - as I’m proving right now.
Showalter correctly pointed out that he has more bullets. A healthier roster, one that includes Brian Roberts, is most certainly a benefit, but it doesn’t explain everything.
On a night when the starting pitcher gives up six runs, he still gets the win. The offense used to take 14 days to score 14 runs, but not anymore.
Felix Pie had one of the biggest swings of the night, his three-run shot in the fifth inning giving the Orioles a 7-6 lead after the Indians rallied to move ahead.
You want a debate? Here’s one:
Do you pencil Pie’s name into left field in spring training next year and let Nolan Reimold fight for at-bats? Do you consider a platoon? Do you just open up the competition, including others in the organization, and see which player earns the job?
Should the Orioles move in another direction and make left field a priority when they go shopping after the season - something they didn’t do last winter with Matt Holliday and Jason Bay on the market?
I’d like to get another look at Reimold next month, assuming he’s one of the September call-ups. It would be nice to see him at full strength after watching him try to fight through that painful Achilles.