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Baltimore Living

Best Sports Overhyping

Buck Showalter

After 14 years of getting our asses kicked, can you blame us for wanting to believe, for falling for the whole knight-in-shining-armor bit? This time last year, the guy was the toast of the town, leading, or, um, guiding maybe . . . well at least being present for a long-absent streak of winning baseball. And therein lies the question that many average fans were asking themselves: What the hell does a manager actually do? Sports “pundits” tended to cite utterly unquantifiable concepts like recruiting clout and clubhouse presence, since if you look at the actual numbers, Showalter is a pretty unremarkable manager, especially in the postseason. But we were desperate and bought it hook, line, and sinker anyway, fully expecting the late-season streak of 2010 to herald the beginning of a great Oriole renaissance. Then cold, uncaring, and obvious reality set in, and the Os are on pace to lose more games than last year, and possibly end up in the cellar of MLB—the whole thing. It’s hard to blame the guy—it’s not like he came in claiming to be the savior, it was thrust upon him. And it’s not like he can go out on the field himself and make the team win games. To win, you need good players to play well, or average players to play awesome more often than they play like shit.

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