With a contract extension for Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter all but signed, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN, O's fans are waiting for the announcement and imagining what kind of success could be in store for their beloved baseball team. Jon Heyman previously reported it would most likely be a three-year extension.
Are O's fans justified in dreaming of big things for their hometown team? Obviously, only time will tell, but with a mastermind like Showalter guiding their team, the percentages play in their favor.
Showalter is a manager who is known for grooming young players into a strong core of a team, much like he has done over the last two-plus seasons in Baltimore. Remarkably, the team came together in 2012 and not only had their first winning season in 15 years, but made the playoffs and forced a Game 5 against the New York Yankees in the ALDS as well.
Even though the club has yet to make any significant roster additions this winter, good vibes remain with the team, and fans can't wait for Opening Day.
So, what can us diehard Bird fans expect over the course of Showalter's contract extension? A team with a strong core and a manager who knows baseball strategy like the back of his hand screams one that can make the playoffs on a consistent basis. And since the team has gained experience from the playoff run last season, they can let their jitters out, making upcoming playoff runs easier to handle and more of a second-nature type of thing.
The elephant in the room, however, remains the fact that even though Showalter has drastically turned around four struggling ballclubs (including the O's), he has yet to bring home a World Series title.
Who knows the exact reason for that, but many claim that Showalter ran himself out of town with his stubborn ways before the team he was with could claim baseball superiority.
However, it seems as though Showalter has changed a bit, seeing as how his players, as well as Orioles majority owner Peter Angelos, love him and want to see him remain an Oriole for a long time, as evidenced by their desire to extend his contract. Heck, center fielder Adam Jones even factored in Showalter's presence with the team before he signed his long-term extension last summer.
I don't think Showalter's supposed stubbornness is something the O's and their fans need to worry about anymore. The players love their manager, and that creates a winning environment.
Over the life of Showalter's new contract, the O's will compete for a playoff spot every season, making the playoffs in all but one of them. The team will grow together, and youngsters, like starting pitchers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, will benefit greatly from having Showalter as their mentor.
While the team may not bring home a World Series trophy during that time, Showalter gives them the best chance of doing so. And if they can't get it done by the time his contract expires, they'll get it done soon after with Showalter still running the show, because he'll earn himself another extension by the time it's all said and done.
What to expect from Showalter's new three-year extension? Young players growing into stars, watching a young core turn into a consistent AL East threat, another extension for Buck, plenty of drama, playoff runs and, most of all, tons of fun.
Or at least, that's what I'm getting out of this.