As Aaron noted earlier today, monobrowed-man-child Jack Clark called the Cardinals “quitters” and said “they have poopy in their pants.” While such a sophisticated and air-tight indictment is difficult to rebut, Tony La Russa has a law degree, so he’s trained in the finer arts of oral advocacy. Specifically, the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” defense:
“I just don’t feel like Jack has had the kind of spotless career
where he can be making judgments like that. Whether it’s our team,
pitchers, players, whatever,” La Russa said. “I think it’s a real
personal (criticism). That’s why I’m saying something about it.
It’s a very offensive quote to make. … I respect Jack a lot
because he did a good job of pulling his career together. But he
had times where there were evaluations from his peers — and I
wasn’t his peer — but his peers and his bosses were less than the
best. I’m disappointed that he doesn’t take some of that past
As a disinterested third party who also has considerable experience with advocacy and debate, I render my judgment thusly:
More seriously speaking, Aaron’s observation from this afternoon wins the day: Jack Clark: if you’re going to say a ballclub “quit,” you had best be prepared to say who on that ballclub quit and show your work. Otherwise you’re nothing more than a friggin’ blowhard.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.
Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.
While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.