SportsCrack Blog

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Buck Showalter throws a couple of verbal haymakers at Theo Epstein and Derek Jeter

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn't worried about ruffling the feathers of his AL East rivals in the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The second year Baltimore skipper had some choice words for both Derek Jeter and Boston GM Theo Epstein.

From an interview in Men's Journal about Jeter:

"The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout," said Showalter. "Our guys are thinking, 'Wow, he's screaming at Derek Jeter.' Well, he's always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets -- and yes, he [ticks] me off."

While Jeter is the poster boy for everything that is good and right to the baseball world Showalter is basically kicking some dirt into his holy water. Anybody remember Jeter faking the hit by pitch last season? No well then let me refresh your memory...

Personally I love what Showalter is doing. Jeter is all over the plate and gets a shitload of walks by his leaning over the plate and acting like the inside strike is in fact off the plate. Showalter is already getting into not only Jeter's head but the umps around the majors. Plus he is providing a confidence boost to his own Orioles in the fact that they are not going to back down to the almighty Yankees. The Orioles have needed an attitude change as much as they have needed an ownership change. 13 straight losing seasons is a testament to this ideology. At least Showalter has the cojones to fight and it has already permeated to his young ball club (.600 win percentage in the 57 games he coached last year, best among the AL East teams).

Where I tend to disagree with Showalter is his words on Epstein:
"I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll," Showalter said. "You got Carl Crawford 'cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, 'How the hell are they beating us?'"

Epstein isn't Brian Cashman. The Red Sox do have a ridiculous payroll like the Yankees and in many ways they are the Yankees Jr. in the way they operate. But Epstein at the very least has developed a strong minor league feeder system for the Red Sox organization and is one of the main reasons why they were able to trade for a slugger like Adrian Gonzalez without completely diminishing the farm.

I do like Buck's fighting words though. It's a good attitude to spread to not only his ballclub but to the fanbase of Baltimore. The Orioles beat the Red Sox last year despite having a payroll that is essentially less than half. If the team can win on the field there is no reason why the fans shouldn't start showing up this season and rooting for the home team while drowning out the bandwagon Sox and Yankees fans. Showalter, as a former ESPN media member, knew exactly what his words would do. They would be quickly spread amongst the media and blogs and turned into fighting words.

"Buck yeah!" should be the Orioles team motto this season. With the additions of sluggers Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds, Derrek Lee, and J.J. Hardy to the everyday lineup the Orioles should have plenty of firepower to back up Buck's words. Now it's a matter of time for the young pitching staff (Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton) to come together and turn around the misfortune of the Baltimore Orioles franchise. It's about "Buck"ing time!

1 comment:

Cheese-Whistle Mcstink said...

Hell yeah, I always like seeing the little guy antagonize the Goliaths. I hope the O's can turn it around for once.