The Orioles continue to not hire Buck Showalter. Is it by design?

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that, despite some suggestions that Buck Showalter is all but hired as the Orioles manager, the O’s aren’t going to change their skipper any time soon.  At least not through the trade deadline, and possibly longer.  Connolly writes “whether a change will be made in August, September, at the end of the season or at all has not yet been determined.”

For his part, Buck Showalter says he’s fine with the timeline and how it’s all being handled. Which makes me wonder if this delay isn’t being done in conjunction with Showalter’s wishes.

You’ll recall that when Showalter took the Arizona job a couple of years before the Diamondbacks even took the field.  There was a big to-do at the time about how he wanted all that time to prepare and do all of the Buck Showaltery organizational things he’s noted for.  I can’t help but wonder if he has a wink-wink agreement with the O’s in which they’ve told him they’re going to hire him but he doesn’t want to take over in the middle of a lost season.  If that were the case even naming him manager for 2011 right now could work to undermine Juan Samuel as he tries to finish 2010 with a bit of dignity.

This is just speculation on my part, of course, but crazier things have happened.

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.