ESPN’s report that Buck Showalter will take over next Tuesday as Orioles manager comes as good news on many fronts.
I like the fact that the new man will be in place for part of this season. The time to change the losing culture and the clubhouse dynamic is now. It’s due. It’s past due. If Showalter can start that process now, there is no reason to wait on that until Opening Day next year.
I like the fact that it gives him a chance to get to know the players this year.
Despite this horrid season, many of the players in that clubhouse will be cornerstones of his and the team’s rebuilding moving forward.
He needs to learn about Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and the young group of pitchers now.
Showalter will put his stamp on the team and the sooner that process begins the better. The players will go into the winter knowing the way they have done things in the past doesn’t work anymore.
And two months should give Showalter at least some sense of what kind of character the players have, who might be his future leaders and who might not have the makeup he is looking for.
He already knows something about their talent. Andy MacPhail and a stat sheet can fill him in there, but now he gets a closer look at that.
This also gives a losing franchise a shot of credibility. Showalter is a manger with a winning record and two playoff appearances and he chose to be here. Maybe that will send a better message this winter to potential free agents.
By the way, in each stop, Showalter’s record has dramatically improved in his second season with the club.