There have been discussions upon discussions about how much impact a manager can have on a professional sports team. Some say very little, others say quite a lot, and the rest of us admit that we have absolutely no idea.
But regardless of those discussions and the various opinions, it's no secret that the Baltimore Orioles have felt like a different team since Buck Showalter came on board, and in 2012 he was given a ton of the credit for getting the surprising Orioles to the playoffs. As such, Showalter has been named the Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun.
I'll be honest when I say that I have no idea how often a manager is given as much face time by a team and the local media that Buck Showalter is given here in Baltimore. When recent Orioles managers include Juan Samuel, Dave Trembley, and Sam Perlozzo, it's easy to see why you'd want their faces in the background. But Buck is well known, has a track record of success, and exudes confidence in a way I haven't seen from an Orioles manager in recent memory.
In Buck Showalter's past stops as a manager, he's been well liked at first but ultimately ended up wearing out his welcome due to his micromanaging and my way or the highway demeanor. Time will tell if that will ultimately happen in Baltimore, although the reports are that the Orioles are very close to signing him to an extension. Maybe it's just the glow of the postseason or my complete unfamiliarity with a competent baseball team, but Buck doesn't seem like a guy who will alienate himself here any time soon. My belief is that he's an older, wiser Buck Showalter who has learned from his past jobs, and I look forward to having him around for years.
Congrats to Buck on being named Marylander of the Year, and give the article a read. It's not bad.