NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter knows it's one thing to make the leap in the standings that the Orioles did last year and yet another to do it two years in a row. During his press conference here yesterday, Showalter was asked about that challenge.
"It kind of falls under the thing like last year - I don't want to be stating the obvious to these guys," Showalter said. "They know. Talking to them in the offseason, if I start to go down that road at all, it's like, 'Buck, come on.'
"There's a lot of things, until you get there and you get a feel- I had a feel last year one week into camp that there was something going on that's a little different. I think I can tell pretty quickly.
"There's just something when you walk in a locker room, you get a feeling that something's going on. There's a feeling. I wish I could put it into words that something's not quite right. But you lean on your people. We've got to get good core people that care about doing the right thing and try to be good in the basics."
Showalter was also asked Tuesday about all the roster moves the club made last year, if he expects something similar in 2013 and if it helped in that it put pressure on the players to perform to keep their roster spot.
"I hope we don't have to make any moves," he said. "Our starting pitching was pretty much intact for the first half of the season. Injuries are part of it. That's another thing that we on purpose didn't let float in there, using injuries as an excuse, unlike a couple of clubs that we got a little tired of hearing about their problems.
"It is what it is. It's part of the game. It's an opportunity. I was real proud of the organization and how quickly the depth - I'll tell you, the job that was done by our Triple-A staff, Ron Johnson and Mike Griffin - I marveled at the evaluation skills they had. I spoke to Ronny, it seemed like every night about - he wouldn't just base it on a statistic. He said, 'This guy can help you do this.' He was in the American League East the year before. It was invaluable."
Meanwhile, the latest name to be linked to the Orioles is free agent Nick Swisher. ESPN's Buster Olney reported via Twitter last night that the Orioles met with Swisher's agent Tuesday.
Swisher plays with some, shall we say, flair. Others might have another way to put that. It looks like when he gets a key hit, he's pretty happy about it and let's everyone know it.
Color me surprised if this one really goes anywhere because I sense the Orioles just won't give Swisher the dollars he wants, but he does play two positions where they have needs - outfield and first base.
What is your take on Swisher? Should the O's make a play for the 32-year-old switch hitter with a career .361 OBP and .828 OPS?