Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Photo courtesy of Cooper Neill/Getty Images.
First off, his managerial record speaks for itself.
In his 14 years at the helm of four different teams, he’s compiled a 1078-1018 record. Although that’s not the most impressive mark (.514 winning percentage), you have to understand the types of teams he has taken on in the past. Not to mention, he has won two Manager of the Year awards and could be in line for his third this season.
When he came to Baltimore in August 2010, he led the misfits to a 34-23 record over his final two months of the season, and fans knew he was here to make a difference. Before he arrived in Baltimore on Aug. 2, the then-last-place Orioles had won just 32 games all year!
Showalter is the type of manager who understands how to build a team from the bottom up. He doesn’t worry about one particular season and how they fare that year; his goal is to build a strong, lasting squad that can prosper for years to come.
Last year, in his first full season as the manager, the Birds finished with a 69-93 record. This season, they finished with the exact opposite record, which is a 24-game win differential, as he led them to the first winning season since ’97 when they notched 98 victories.
Every team Showalter has managed, he’s been able to turn around that team within two full seasons. In his first career year as a manager with the Yankees in 1992, they went just 76-86. However, the following season, they improved by 12 games and went from fourth place to second place.
In the next two seasons, they finished in first and second place respectively, and as we all know, the Bombers won four of the next five World Series throughout the late ‘90s.
In his second go-round as a manager, he really did himself in as he undertook the newly formed expansion Diamondbacks in 1998. That season, they dropped almost 100 games as they finished with a dismal 65-97 record and last in the NL West.
It was their first season in existence. I’m sure he knew what he was getting himself into. But that’s the beauty of Buck. He welcomes a challenge, as he did in Baltimore in 2010.
The following year (’99), Arizona improved by 35 games as they notched 100 wins in just their second season in existence! Not to mention, they won the West and made a name for themselves. In his last year with the club in 2000, they finished 85-77, which was good for third place in the West.
As we all know, after he left, the Diamondbacks went on to win the 2001 World Series against the Yankees the very next season.
Finally, in his last tenure before arriving in Baltimore, he had the tough assignment of turning around the struggling Rangers. After finishing fourth in the AL West for three straight seasons from 2000-2002, he assumed the role of manager in 2003.
Although they struggled in his first year, he built them up for success, and they have been one of the best teams in the majors over the last three years. In 2003, they finished with a 71-91 record.
However, in his second year, they improved by 18 games, winning 89 games and finishing third in a very tough division. Over the next couple of seasons, they finished with 79 and 80 victories respectively.
He is definitely one of the major reasons why the Birds experienced success this season, and he has built a strong foundation for the future in Baltimore.