Buck Showalter’s Orioles won last night. And so doing gave him his 250th win with Baltimore.
Showalter’s career feels weird. Most managers get a shot or two. If they get more than a couple of shots some of those later jobs are at the helm on an interim basis or as a caretaker manager while the organization waits for the team to be competitive. It’s not often you see a guy get more than a couple shots at teams with which he is expected to be the guy to help build the team or teams that are on the upswing. You get maybe two jobs with a future in this business. Everything beyond those two shots are basically short gigs.
But Showalter has, um. bucked that trend, having been given jobs with a future in New York, Texas, Arizona and Baltimore. And in so doing he joins a pretty small club of managers who have amassed 250 wins or more with four teams. Besides Showalter, only Joe Torre, Gene Mauch and Dick Williams.
Nice job, Buck.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.
That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.
Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.
This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.
I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.