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All-Star Game umpires, coaches announced

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Major League Baseball announced the All-Star Game umpires and coaches today. Ted Barrett will be the crew chief and will work behind the plate. It’s his second All-Star assignment in his 20-year big league career.

Barrett’s crew will consist of Jim Reynolds at first base, Alfonso Marquez at second, Andy Fletcher at third base, Mike Muchlinski in left field and Cory Blaser in right. The Replay Official who will be Marvin Hudson. The official scorer will be Ben Trittipoe. If you hear his name again after this it means he messed something up. He really hopes you don’t hear his name again.

The managers, of course, will be Dave Roberts for the N.L. and A.J. Hinch of the Astros. Today their coaching staffs were named. Roberts will put Dave Martinez of the host Washington Nationals and Rockies manager Bud Black on the squad. Roberts’ entire Dodgers staff will also be there. It’ll be a pretty full dugout.

Hinch has invited Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays and, in a bit of a changeup, invites Rich Dauer, who served as his first base coach during the World Series-winning season but who underwent emergency brain surgery for a subdural hematoma following the team’s World Series parade last November. That caused him to retire, but he’s apparently made a full recovery and will be back in uniform, which is nice to see. Hinch’s Houston staff will be on-site as well.

Report: Orioles expected to replace Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter
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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.