Olney: Buck Showalter is the "heavy, heavy" favorite for the O's job


Buster Olney says that Buck Showalter is the “heavy, heavy” favorite to be the Orioles’ next manager and handicapped the race thusly: “Showalter 1:2, Eric Wedge 6:1, Rick Dempsey 50:1, others 100:1.”

For his part, Heyman thinks Wedge is the favorite, though wouldn’t be surprised if Showalter got the gig.

Olney used to cover the Orioles at the Baltimore Sun and it wouldn’t shock me if he had better inside information on this.  Not that we’re dealing in state secrets here: Showalter and Wedge have been the two highest-profile interviews thus far. Not counting Bobby Valentine anyway, who has pulled himself out of the race.

I’ve said before that I’m not overly impressed with Buck Showalter — he gets too much credit for bringing up the mid-90s Yankees — but he seems like the best choice out of those being considered.

Hall of Fame will no longer use Chief Wahoo on Hall of Fame plaques

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Last month, in the wake of his election to the Hall of Fame, Jim Thome made it clear that he wanted to be inducted as a Cleveland Indian but that he did not want to have Chief Wahoo on his plaque.

His reasoning: even though that was the cap he wore for almost all of his time in Cleveland, “because of all the history and everything involved” he did not think it was the right thing to do. The context, of course, was the club’s decision, under pressure from Major League Baseball, to scrap the Wahoo logo due to its racial insensitivity, which it appears Thome agrees with.

Hall plaque decisions are not 100% up to the player, however. Rather, the Hall of Fame, while taking player sentiment into account, makes a judgment about the historical accuracy and representativeness of Hall plaques. This is to prevent a club from entering into a contract with a player to wear its logo on the plaque even if he only played with them for a short time or from a player simply picking his favorite club (or spiting his least-favorite), even if he only spent an inconsequential season or two there. Think Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray or Frank Robinson as, I dunno, a Dodger.

In the case of Chief Wahoo, the Hall has not only granted Thome’s wish, but has decreed that no new plaque will have Wahoo on it going forward:

To be fair, I can’t think of another player who wore Wahoo who would make the Hall of Fame in an Indians cap after Thome. Possibly Manny Ramirez if he ever gets in, though he may have a better claim to a Red Sox cap (debate it in the comments). Albert Belle appears on Veterans Committee ballots, but I’d bet my cats that he’s never getting it in. If younger players like Corey Kluber or Francisco Lindor or someone make it in, they’ll likely have just as much history in a Block-C or whatever the Indians get to replace Wahoo with than anything else, so it’s not really an issue for them.

Still, a nice gesture from the Hall, both to accommodate Thome’s wishes and to acknowledge the inappropriateness of using Chief Wahoo for any purpose going forward.