The Baltimore Orioles today announced that current ESPN baseball analyst Buck Showalter has been signed to a multi-year contract to serve as the clubâ€™s 17th full-time manager. Showalter will officially take the helm of the Orioles on Monday, August 2 and will be introduced in a press conference that day at Camden Yards.
Showalter will be the the 6th manager for the Orioles in the last 10 years, replacing Juan Samuel who was the interim manager after the club fired Dave Trembley on June 4th of this year after he went 15-39. As interim manager, Samuel fared no better going 16-31. The Orioles are currently a league worst 31-70 (.307) and 33.5 games out of first in the AL East. The team has lost 5 in a row and are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
â€śMy job with ESPN allowed me to follow this organization closely over the last several years, and although the current record may seem to indicate otherwise, I see enormous potential with this club," said Showalter in a statement through the Orioles. "I look forward to the challenge of competing in the American League East. Baltimore is a tremendous baseball town with passion and pride in its club and my family and I look forward to making it our new home.â€ť
Showalter, 54, has compiled an 882-833 record in 11 seasons as manager of the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Texas Rangers (2003-2006). A two-time Manager of the Year (1994 and 2004), Showalterâ€™s 882 wins are 10th-most among active major league managers and 65th all-time.
Showalter spent the first 19 years of his professional baseball career in the New York Yankees organization, culminating in a four-year stint as manager from 1992-95. In 1994 Showalter earned AL Manager of the Year honors, guiding New York to a 70-43 record before the strike ended the season prematurely. The next season, he led the Yankees to their first playoff berth in 14 years and managed the American League All-Star team. He was the youngest manager in the major leagues in each of his four seasons in New York.
In November 1995, Showalter joined the Arizona Diamondbacks, 28 months before the expansion franchise began play, and helped shape the new teamâ€™s major league operations. In 1999, he guided the Diamondbacks to a 100-win season and the NL West division title, an improvement of 35 victories over the previous season, the most in major league history.
Showalter joined the Texas Rangers prior to the 2003 season and in 2004 guided the club to an 18-win improvement over the previous year, earning his second Manager of the Year honor.
In between managerial stints, Showalter has served as an analyst on ESPNâ€™s Baseball Tonight and ESPN Radio from 2001-02 and for the last several years.
â€śBuck Showalterâ€™s proven track record makes him the right choice for manager of the Orioles and we are thrilled to add a two-time Manager of the Year to our organizationâ€ť said Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail. â€śWe believe Buckâ€™s extensive experience and expertise will be a major benefit to us as we look towards a more successful future.â€ť
A native of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Showalter graduated from Mississippi State University in 1979. He earned All-American honors in 1977 in his only season with the Bulldogs, batting a school record .459 and establishing a then-team mark with 44 RBI. A fifth-round selection by the Yankees in the 1977 draft, Showalter spent seven seasons as a first baseman and outfielder in the New York minor league system, batting .294 in 793 games.
Showalterâ€™s managerial career began in 1985 with the Oneonta Yankees. He managed for five seasons in the Yankees minor league system, earning Eastern League Minor League Manager of the Year honors in 1989, prior to joining the major league coaching staff in 1990.
The Orioles have also announced that interim manager Juan Samuel will return to his role as third base coach with the team. Samuel had compiled a 16-31 record through Wednesdayâ€™s game. The rest of the coaching staff will remain in their current roles, and Gary Allenson will return to Norfolk to manage the Triple-A Tides.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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