What should Showalter do?

If you're looking for manager Buck Showalter today, he's attending the TCU-SMU football game. A promise he made to his kids.

I'm not sure where president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is hanging out this weekend, but he won't be making any statements on his future in the organization.

Things change quickly around here, but as I wrote yesterday, we probably won't learn of MacPhail's decision before Monday.

He's not staying in his current role, but he could stick around as an adviser. Or he could thank everyone for their support during his 4 1/2 years and hit the highway.

I've been asked many times for my prediction on Showalter. Will he become the next president of baseball ops or will he continue to manage?

I have no idea.

I think he might be leaning toward the front office post, but it's not like he's looking to escape the dugout. He isn't burned out. He isn't dying to wear a suit and sit in a suite at 7:05 p.m.

Showalter sought my opinion a few days ago, but more out of curiosity than a need for any sort of guidance. It's not like my insight carries a lot of weight. He was just wondering how I felt about it. He's posed the same question to other reporters. I think he's amused by the level of interest and all the speculation.

I straddled the fence until it left a crease in my pants.

The organization needs Showalter to be hands-on. Nothing else has worked. He brings credibility in the dugout and he has strong opinions about the roster and farm system. He pays attention to everything - from the 25 guys in his clubhouse to the catcher on the Dominican Summer League team to the top amateur prospects who could appear on the Orioles' draft board.

Showalter has never been a general manager, but he helped to build the expansion Diamondbacks. He was heavily involved in the draft and a prearranged deal with the Reds.

I told Showalter that I couldn't really answer his question without knowing who would replace him in the dugout. It sounded like a cop-out, but I meant it. He's been a winner in his current role. The man can manage. And the players respect him and play hard for him.

In my perfect world, Showalter remains as manager but also works in almost a co-GM capacity. But does that world really exist? What GM would want his manager to have an equal voice in trades and free-agent signings?

You wouldn't get a Pat Gillick-type to come here under that arrangement.

I suppose what I want is Showalter's influence in the dugout and in the warehouse, but without him carrying both titles through a 162-game season. It's just too much.

The 40-man roster hasn't suited him all year. He wants to tackle it like a middle linebacker.

Can he do it as a manager without stepping on anyone's toes?

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