What Buck Showalter did for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 was one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of the game. A 24 win difference in a matter of only one season didn’t win Showalter the manager of the year award but, it did win him a brand new contract that stretches into 2018. Comparatively speaking, the Oakland Athletics just opened the bank for the AL Manager of the year Bob Melvin and it was just a matter of time before the Orioles did the same thing.
Since taking over in 2010 Showalter has had his ups and downs including a 69 win season in his first year as full-time manager. However, his perseverance would lend success as the Orioles won their first playoff game since 1997 and were two wins away from the ALCS last October. Now that Showalter has taken the climb from last place to a wild card berth I fully expect the Orioles to stay atop the AL East for years to come.
It is incredibly encouraging that Showalter got so much from such a young and exciting team–all nine of the Orioles starters in 2012 were all 30 years or younger. The playoff experience that all of the players on this team garnered is second to none and will not go unnoticed as baseball begins again this spring. Perhaps one thing to watch will be the growth of Manny Machado, a player that the Orioles saw emerge on the scene at age 19 with 50 hits and seven home runs in his first 51 games.
This extension makes Showalter and the Orioles an even bigger thorn in the American League’s side.