From the moment Buck Showalter put on his Orioles cap and first took a seat on the bench or brought out the lineup card to home plate, his resemblance to Earl Weaver sparked conversation on this blog and in the press box.
How many times has he heard it?
“That’s the first one” he said yesterday.
Well, now he can join the club, because it seems like everyone else is talking about it.
Showalter spent part of yesterday afternoon’s media session discussing Weaver’s influence on the game.
“The first time I ever saw a half field was down at Bobby Maduro, and I was like, ‘Wow,’” Showalter said, referring to the Orioles’ old spring training home in Miami. “Flanny and those guys talk about how that was like being sent to Iwo Jima. If you messed up a rundown or a pickoff or bunt defense, you were going to the half field. They actually named it Earl Weaver Memorial.”
Showalter said he called Weaver the night before his introductory press conference and joked that part of the advice offered by the Hall of Famer had “something to do with three-run homers.”
“He’s a special man,” Showalter said. “The revolution of coaching, managing, whatever, it’s interesting to see how it all evolved, and things that people did. Nowadays, they’re acting like it’s new, and Earl was doing it a long time ago.”
The game has changed in some ways, especially when it comes to the manager’s interaction with the media.
“I don’t think Earl got asked a lot ‘Why?’ Maybe once. Maybe once you asked him that,” Showalter said.
“You’ve got to have good reasons today. People may not agree with them, but it’s part of the job description.”
It seems appropriate to bring up Weaver’s name today, since it’s the 33-year anniversary of the night that he pulled his team off the field and forfeited a game against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
Weaver argued that a tarp covering the bullpen mound in foul territory posed an injury risk, but the umpires refused to order it removed. The Orioles trailed, 4-0, in the bottom of the fifth, and that’s how it ended.
It was a bold decision by Weaver, considering that the Orioles were 87-59 and 2 Ã‚Â½ games out of first place. The Blue Jays, under manager Roy Hartsfield, were 49-96 and 40 games back.
Showalter often asks about the time of games. This one lasted 1:05.
Check out the box score and let me know if you remember this game.
Ross Grimsley started for the Orioles, with Dave Skaggs setting the target. Andres Mora played left field.
I always thought Mora would be something special, but he wasn’t even the best Mora in franchise history.