Just about a week until the 2011 baseball season opener and Orioles’ skipper, 2 time manager of the year Buck Showalter has shown no restraint in firing at his rivals, possibly firing up his team in an interview with Men’s Journal Magazine, according to Stephen Borelli of USA Today.
In the interview, Showalter, speaking of Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees according to Borelli said “the first time I went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout. Our guys are thinking, wow, he’s screaming at Jeter. Well he’s always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets- and yes, he (ticks) me off.”
Showalter also threw some remarks toward Boston GM Theo Epstein according to Borelli. Buck remarked about Boston’s signing of Carl Crawford, saying that it “was not indicative of Epstein’s saavy.” “You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? I’d like to see how smart he is with the Tampa Bay payroll. That’s why I like whipping their (butts). It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying “how the hell are they beating us?”
Aside from questioning whether it was appropriate in general for Buck to make those comments, the bigger question is whether it will benefit his team? Jeter is an aging future Hall of Famer who now may save his last few great swings for the fences of Camden Yards. As for Boston, is it a good idea to awaken the might of perhaps the best major league roster? Especially when you have to play them 19 times.
But what is Buck’s motivation? To psych out the opposing team? To fire up his own team hoping they will play harder to back up his remarks? Maybe Buck is just being Buck. Before going to battle, perhaps it’s better to run out there with pride and something to play for than to walk out there slowly with your head down ready to lose 3 out of 4. I suppose it’s ok to brag as long as you can back it up. Buck’s record says he can, but will his Birds live up?