Plenty of praise for Showalter

Among those that think Buck Showalter is the right man to become the next manager of the Orioles is ESPN's Tim Kurkjian.

Kurkjian was on the Scott Garceau show Thursday that airs on MASN and O's flagship station, 105.7 the Fan. He told co-hosts Jeremy Conn and Pete Medhurst that Showalter is the right guy to lead the Orioles.

"I think he will manage the Orioles and I think he's the perfect man for the job. I know Buck better than most, having sat next to him on Baseball Tonight many nights and having covered him and been around him when he was the manger of the Diamondbacks, the Yankees and the Rangers," Kurkjian said.

"I can tell you that, outside of Earl Weaver, I don't think I've ever learned any more about baseball from anyone other than Buck Showalter.

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"He is so unbelievably prepared; he never misses anything. He is so perceptive. And for a team and a franchise that needs to be, basically, blown up and start over, he's the guy to do it.

"That's a positive. He'll come in and say 'look, here's what we are going to try now.' And he knows how to do that; he's worked that in several places now and I think he'll come in and work that very well in Baltimore.

"That doesn't mean, they'll win the World Series in two years. But it does mean he will get them going in the right direction if everything works out and he does indeed get and take the deal."

Give Kurkjian credit for one thing. Even with the O's now 30 games under .500, Kurkjian admits he was among the many baseball analysts who saw a bright future for the team just last winter.

"Well, I was one of those guys that had, let's call it, higher hopes. I thought they even had a chance to get close to .500 this year, maybe turn the corner. We were all wrong for a million different reasons.

"The Brian Roberts injury is the biggest one. But the young players haven't progressed and that's pretty obvious. When you have young pitching and young everyday players, the goal is to make them better every year and see if they can move forward.

"That second year for a lot of these guys is a tough year in baseball. But it's been especially tough for the Oriole guys. Exactly why is unclear - One of the beauties of baseball, it happens all the time. Just when you think a guy is moving forward, he doesn't.

"But that's what they are going to have to learn from. Maybe they just have to learn, these young guys, that more adjustments have to be made than the ones they've made to this point."

Click here to hear the station's podcast of the interview with one of the top guys out there covering this sport.

Melewski fun fact: Back in 1981, or maybe it was 1982, I was just a college kid from Towson State who was lucky enough to get a job working for what turned out to be a soon-to-be out of business newspaper, the Washington Star.

The paper had a tremendous staff of writers that included a young kid named Kurkjian. At that time he covered the Carolina League's Alexandria Dukes.

This was years before he covered the Orioles for the Baltimore Sun and later made the big-time at ESPN. He was a nice humble young guy then and he remains one of nicest and most humble guys in the media game today.

Then, he was an expert on the Dukes. Now, he's pretty expert on a lot more than that.

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