Classic. Really not how I thought we'd kick off the season! At least Buck will be in uniform tonight. Sigh.
TAMPA BAY, FL — (AP) Buck's mouth has gone off. Again. And this time, he's going to pay for it.
MLB handed down a three-game suspension to Orioles manager Buck Showalter late Thursday night, citing his "inappropriate remarks" about Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
A spokesperson for the Orioles said the ruling will be appealed, and that Showalter will be in uniform and on the field for Baltimore's season opener against the Rays this evening, according to Roch Kubatko's MASN Twitter feed.
The trouble stems from a heated interview with Kubatko on Thursday afternoon in which Showalter took aim at his counterpart's work habits and "style."
"There's a right way to approach this game—a tradition that honors it and respects it," he allegedly told Kubatko. "And Roch, you know as well as I do . . . Joe, he kinda likes to flout that tradition . . . He's a style guy, and he likes to act the fool. He kind of comes off as an [expletive] in person. I'm not a style guy, I'm a [expletive] hustle guy. You remember the whole hoodie thing with MLB last year? It's [nonsense] stuff like that." (Showalter was referring to an incident in April of last year in which MLB banned Maddon from wearing a hoodie sweatshirt during games.)
Maddon and the Rays front office declined to comment. But in a prepared statement, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig proclaimed, "No one manager is above the game. . . . Buck's a good friend of mine, and I understand what he's trying to do to motivate those kids down there [in Baltimore]. But there's a line he's been tiptoeing around, and this time he crossed it with these foolish remarks. A certain level of professional conduct is expected."
Showalter initially raised eyebrows last week, causing a stir with his disparaging remarks in the April issue of Men's Journal about Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and Yankees infielder Derek Jeter. The story stayed alive for several news cycles, with talk radio lines lighting up and members of the media and all three rival clubs jesting with each other. By handing down such a harsh sentence, Selig appears to be trying to get ahead of the incident before it snowballs into a story that detracts from the opening of the 2011 MLB season.
Reached for comment, Showalter was unapologetic, making further remarks about Maddon ("Who does he think he is with those glasses? Ghandi? He's fooling himself."), Toronto Blue Jays' GM Alex Anthopolous ("a snot-nosed kid"), and ex-Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston ("He's a fatass. And he still sucks."). He concluded by remarking, "It's just the first day of April here. We've got a long season in front of us, and the O's aren't going to put up with crap from anyone this year."
Source: Chicago Sentinel