Trying to Buck a losing trend

Did you know that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles can become the first team in history to have three managers work at least 50 games apiece in the same season?

Buck Showalter can complete the Triple Crown if he doesn't change his mind in September.

I don't think the buzz over Showalter's debut tonight will match the one that accompanied Matt Wieters' arrival last summer. It's just not quite the same for a manager - unless Earl Weaver comes out of retirement again - but I'm sure the enthusiasm level at Camden Yards will be kicked up a few notches.

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Wieters is on the field, swinging a bat and trying to throw out runners. Showalter will be plopped down in the dugout, staring out at the field and spitting. Again, it's just not quite the same.

I'm not diminishing Showalter's impact on this club, but I'm not expecting a sellout crowd to greet him tonight.

It will be interesting to track the way he runs a game. Will he be obsessed with matchups in the late innings, passing that baton from one reliever to the next? Will he put the young starters on a short leash or leave them out there? Will he play small ball in the early innings? Will he be more inclined to use his bench in the late innings? Will his lineup look different? Will he go all Billy Martin on the first player who doesn't run a 4.3 40 on a routine ground ball?

I don't think Showalter will abide by Dave Trembley's 24-hour rule for confronting a player, but I also doubt that he'll lower the hammer on the top step of the dugout for every perceived infraction.

So who will be the first fan to second-guess him?

My feeling about tonight's game is similar to the one I get whenever the Orioles call up another member of the cavalry. It's something different to watch, something to hold my interest, in an otherwise forgettable and torturous season. And I'm more than happy to be done with all the questions about the interview process and the uncertainty over the hiring.

It's Buck Showalter. We can move on to other things.

I do find it somewhat strange that Bob Melvin didn't get an interview, since he was widely perceived as one of the favorites before Trembley left the building. Remember how many times his name cropped up in our discussions? President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail only met with four candidates, and Melvin wasn't one of them.

Go figure.

More from Triple-A Norfolk: On Brandon Snyder's home run last night, his seventh of the season, the ball cleared the 396-foot sign in left-center field, helping the Tides to a 4-1 victory over Indianapolis.

Dennis Sarfate notched his 14th save, striking out Ryan Doumit and Jim Negrych after Indianapolis brought the potential tying run to the plate.

Chris Tillman starts today's 12:15 p.m. game, as the Tides seek their first four-game winning streak.

Rick VandenHurk (and I'm trying so hard not to call him "VanderHunk," but I keep making the same typos) is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his last five starts covering 34 innings.

Single-A Frederick's Brett Jacobson, 23, notched his first save with 2 1/3 scoreless innings against Salem. Jacobson, obtained from the Tigers in the Aubrey Huff trade, is 7-0 with a 2.14 ERA, 18 walks and 53 strikeouts in 59 innings.

You can argue that the Orioles should have re-signed Huff over the winter, but give them props for the trade. Huff stunk in Detroit. The Tigers would love a do-over on that one.

Former Oriole alert: Portland Beavers right-hander Radhames Liz took a no-hitter into the seventh inning last night against Salt Lake. He allowed one hit over 7 2/3 scoreless innings, walking two and striking out eight.

In his two previous appearances (one start), Liz allowed eight runs and 12 hits, with five walks, in 6 1/3 innings.

Sounds like the Radhames Liz we knew in Baltimore.

For the season, he's 7-6 with a 4.71 ERA in 19 games, including 16 starts, with 29 walks and 82 strikeouts in 86 innings.

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