The Orioles contact Buck Showalter about their managerial gig

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Buck Showalter was one of the first few names listed by fans and the media to take over the Orioles’ managerial job when it became apparent that Dave Trembley was going to get fired.  Now the Orioles are doing the logical thing and interviewing him, reports Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.

I assume this is a sign that Davey Johnson — who was interviewed last week — didn’t really impress anyone.  Unless of course Showalter is some token minority candidate (minority: guys who did not win a World Series while managing Derek Jeter).

I’m less taken with Showalter than a lot of people. I think his primary appeal is to those who think that he’ll do for Baltimore what he did for New York, which is to bring them to the brink of contention via his brains and obvious organizational skills, preparation, etc.  I continue to contend, however, that a lot of guys could have done what he did, mostly because the story of the Yankees’ turnaround in the early-to-mid 90s was primarily a front office story, not an on-the-field story. Nothing wrong with Showalter, mind you. He’s just not my cup of tea.

How about Wally Backman?  I plugged him on HBT Extra yesterday. Before that segment I read a lot about him and his history since being unceremoniously fired by the Diamondbacks five days after taking the job there. He sounds like a hell of a lot of fun in the Billy Martin-Ozzie Guillen mold.

There’s a lot of talent in Baltimore. It just needs a kick in the ass to get moving.  Wally Backman kicks some ass, so why not give him a whirl?

Report: Angels to acquire Ian Kinsler from the Tigers

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels will acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers. It is not known yet what the Tigers will receive in return. Kinsler had to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to happen.

Kinsler, 35, hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, 90 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 613 plate appearances for the Tigers this past season. He’s in the final year of his contract and will earn $10 million for the 2018 season.

The Angels were certainly looking to upgrade at second base and did so with Kinsler. They were also reportedly interested in Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies.