Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays

Buck Showalter is not going to be fazed* by the challenges of managing the Orioles

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For a guy who has been in and around the majors for 20 years, most of us know very little about Buck Showalter.  Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com has a profile of the Orioles manager that focuses on his father. The father  who — in addition to storming the beaches of Normandy and desegregating a Florida high school that the white people in the community did not want desegregated — taught Buck about humility and character:

Buck Showalter is facing the biggest uphill battle in his career. It’s a reclamation project extended family members and close friends advised him against, a post that became official with Aug. 2’s press conference in Baltimore.

“You can’t win there,” they told Showalter of a downtrodden franchise in the middle of its 13th consecutive losing season. “It’s impossible.”

But nothing was impossible in the Showalter household, no matter how unpopular the decision was.

Talent will ultimately decide if the Orioles win or lose. But it’s also the case that, since Davy Johnson left town, they’ve been managed by guys who probably felt that they needed to prove themselves and probably felt pressure because of it.  Showalter has been around the block. And more importantly, he was brought up by a guy who placed more value on what a person actually did than what everyone else thought about it.  That can’t hurt as he embarks on his first full season with a team that everyone thinks is destined to be stuck in the cellar forever.

*I mistakenly wrote “phased” in the headline when it was first posted.  Yes, accuracy is important, but it’s probably also true that Showalter will not be carried out systematically as if by phases either, so I wasn’t 100% wrong.  Right?  Anyone?

Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2017 option vests, but salary still undetermined

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Hisashi Iwakuma #18 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.

Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).

This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.

Ichiro Suzuki passes Wade Boggs for 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 28: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins grounds out during the 2nd inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images
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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.

Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.

Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.

By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).

Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.