It had been known all offseason that the Orioles and Showalter were working on a contract extension, so the news came as no surprise yesterday, it was just a matter of time. Showalter's extension will keep him in Baltimore through the 2018 season, at which Showalter will be 62 years old. Baltimore had a 24 win improvement in 2012 against their 2011 season and had their first winning season and playoff appearance since 1997. Buck managed this team to a wildcard berth and a victory over the Texas Rangers in the first ever American League Wildcard play-in game and lost in a decisive game five in the ALDS against the New York Yankees, all while not having a single player with more than 85 RBI, no hitter with a .300 or better average and just one pitcher with 10 wins or more, quite impressive.
Showalter came to Baltimore in August of 2010 when he became the 17th full time manager in Orioles history and has a 196-185 record as the Birds manager. On May 1, 2012, Buck became just the 58th manager in baseball history to record 1,000 victories in his career when Baltimore beat the Yankees. Buck made an appearance on the "Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" last night and made a few statements about his contract extension,
"Obviously I'm very honored in the confidence," Showalter said. "It's something you don't take very lightly and we've got a lot of bridges to cross. I'm excited for Dan. I hope our fans can look back on this positively, but that's up to us and the players."
When Showalter was asked about both he and Duquette receiving extensions, he said:
"I think if you look at one common denominator in baseball, there is a direct correlation between the manager and general manager. It's a team," he said. "It's something I'm comfortable with, Dan is comfortable with. Dan has strengths that I don't have and I like to think I bring some things. It's a good complement. I like the idea there will be some continuity and consistency. Everyone is going to know who to blame and I'm OK with that."
Perhaps a little surprising, only because there had been no reports of any discussions this offseason, was the announcement of Duquette's extension. Certainly well deserved as he made several key, under the radar acquisitions, such as Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Nate McLouth, that had key roles for the 2012 Orioles making the playoffs and ending their 14 consecutive losing seasons streak.
I asked Orioles first baseman Chris Davis on his reaction when he heard the news of Showalter and Duquette's extensions yesterday he said:
"Extremely excited and happy for Dan and Buck! Both deserve a lot of credit for the success we had this year. Here's to six more year's of playoff baseball!
Baltimore fans got behind their manager for the first time since perhaps Davey Johnson back in the mid-nineties when the Orioles made the playoffs in 1996 and 1997. The Orioles used a "BUCKle Up" campaign as the Orioles were coming down the stretch last season and making their playoff run and of course BUCK is capitalized for a reason. Showalter gives O's fans confidence that he is going to make the right decisions and keep this team competitive and boucning off of Davis's quote, here's to six more years of BUCKling Up!
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