Showalter's place in Orioles managing history

Did you ever imagine that Buck Showalter would one day become synonymous with the Orioles?

The same guy who began his managerial career in pinstripes? The same guy who was named the first manager of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks? The same guy hired and fired by the Texas Rangers?

Showalter has a chance to guide the Orioles through the 2018 season after agreeing to a five-year extension. He took over the helm in August 2010. That's a little more than eight years on the job, if my math is correct.

Once the dust settles - and this is assuming that he sticks around through the life of his contract - Showalter will have the second-longest tenure among Orioles managers, passing Paul Richards and falling short of Earl Weaver.

OK, maybe you saw it coming years ago and I wasn't paying attention.

Mike Hargrove lasted four full seasons after replacing Ray Miller in 2000. He seemed like a lifer compared to others on the list. Check it out:

1954 Jimmie Dykes 54-100
1955 Paul Richards 57-97
1956 Paul Richards 69-85
1957 Paul Richards 76-76
1958 Paul Richards 74-79
1959 Paul Richards 74-80
1960 Paul Richards 89-65
1961 Paul Richards 78-57
1961 Lum Harris 17-10
1962 Billy Hitchcock 77-85
1963 Billy Hitchcock 86-76
1964 Hank Bauer 97-65
1965 Hank Bauer 94-68
1966 Hank Bauer 97-63
1967 Hank Bauer 76-85
1968 Hank Bauer 43-37
1968 Earl Weaver 48-34
1969 Earl Weaver 109-53
1970 Earl Weaver 108-54
1971 Earl Weaver 101-57
1972 Earl Weaver 80-74
1973 Earl Weaver 97-65
1974 Earl Weaver 91-71
1975 Earl Weaver 90-69
1976 Earl Weaver 88-74
1977 Earl Weaver 97-64
1978 Earl Weaver 90-71
1979 Earl Weaver 102-57
1980 Earl Weaver 100-62
1981 Earl Weaver 59-46
1982 Earl Weaver 94-68
1983 Joe Altobelli 98-64
1984 Joe Altobelli 85-77
1985 Joe Altobelli 29-26
1985 Earl Weaver 53-52
1986 Earl Weaver 73-89
1987 Cal Ripken Sr. 67-95
1988 Cal Ripken Sr. 0-6
1988 Frank Robinson 54-101
1989 Frank Robinson 87-75
1990 Frank Robinson 76-85
1991 Frank Robinson 13-24
1991 Johnny Oates 54-71
1992 Johnny Oates 89-73
1993 Johnny Oates 85-77
1994 Johnny Oates 63-49
1995 Phil Regan 71-73
1996 Davey Johnson 88-74
1997 Davey Johnson 98-64
1998 Ray Miller 79-83
1999 Ray Miller 78-84
2000 Mike Hargrove 74-88
2001 Mike Hargrove 63-98
2002 Mike Hargrove 67-95
2003 Mike Hargrove 71-91
2004 Lee Mazzilli 78-84
2005 Lee Mazzilli 51-56
2005 Sam Perlozzo 23-32
2006 Sam Perlozzo 70-92
2007 Sam Perlozzo 29-40
2007 Dave Trembley 40-53
2008 Dave Trembley 68-93
2009 Dave Trembley 64-98
2010 Dave Trembley 15-39
2010 Juan Samuel 17-34
2010 Buck Showalter 34 -23
2011 Buck Showalter 69-93
2012 Buck Showalter 93-69

Remember when the Orioles used three managers in 2010, as if the team with the highest total would automatically qualify for the playoffs? The organization was routinely criticized and ridiculed on both the local and national levels. No one wanted to come here. No one wanted to stay here.

The perception sure has changed over the past year, and Showalter deserves a boatload of the credit.

So, what's the next order of business following this morning's press conference and Saturday's FanFest?

We'll find out how many other Orioles are leaving camp for the World Baseball Classic, following Adam Jones, Pedro Strop, Chris Robinson and Allan de San Miguel out the door.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette, whose contract also was extended through 2018, continues his search for a starting pitcher. The available impact bats for the middle of the lineup are turning to dust.

At least we can turn the page on all the extension talk - at least until it's time to focus on catcher Matt Wieters. But that's way down the road.

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