What the Buck?

First of all, let’s just come right out and say that MASN, the Peter Angelos owned regional sports network that broadcasts Orioles’ and Nationals’ games has completely embarrassed itself this weekend. Just about everyone associated with the broadcast has spent the entire weekend complaining about the Yankees “whining,” their “sense of entitlement,” and just basically parroting the company line in every way and at every turn. The only exception I’ve noticed has been color commentator and Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, who tonight noted that the Yankees “certainly had a reason” for being upset about the situation.

And they most certainly do! Thanks to the layout of the schedule and make up games already on the docket, the Yankees only had one full day off in the month of September, and they’ve lost that now. This even though the Yankees proposed the eminently reasonable course of action of playing a double header Friday, instead of Saturday, which would have left them able to play a second twin-billing Sunday or Monday as well, and thus getting all five schedule games in between Friday and Monday. The Orioles refused that idea, supposedly unwilling to give up a night game weekend gate against the Yankees. But, of course, since the game has now been rescheduled for a Thursday afternoon, they’re losing that gate anyway.

Not that the Orioles are the only guilty party, however. The Orioles reportedly agreed to play a double header at Yankee Stadium in which Baltimore would take the gate from the second game when the Orioles come to New York next month (which I’m pretty sure was Angelos’ goal all along), but the commissioner’s office reportedly nixed that proposition, supposedly because an extra home game would be “unfair” to the teams the Yankees are in a playoff battle with. Because taking away the only true day off they have for an entire month won’t be unfair to the Yankees, or anything. Certainly not in the view of the Orioles’ mouthpiece, anyway.

But the award for the most bizarre statement of all goes to, who else, Buck Showalter, who somehow worked the tragic suicide of Mike Flanagan into the equation:

“First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny, quite frankly. That didn’t sit with me very well. I can tell you that,” Showalter said, referencing Wednesday’s tragic death of Mike Flanagan.

I mean…what? I honestly have no idea what this could possibly mean. The idea of playing a doubleheader Friday was disrespectful? I understand that the Orioles were coming home for the first time since the event, but it’s hardly as though they were set to forfeit Friday night’s game or anything. There’s still baseball to be played, and the weather is what it is.

I don’t think I’m the only one by any means, but I’m quickly getting tired of Buck Showalter’s new act. Showalter took over a team on pace to be historically bad last season, and proceeded to go 34-23 the rest of the season (though still finishing in last place, of course) after which he was quickly crowned the king of Baltimore, non-Ravens division. This season, however, the Orioles are back to being bottom feeders, despite having Showalter around for over a year now. In other words, Showalter proved to be mostly hype and very little substance when it came to turning around baseball in Charm City.

Not that that’s kept him from talking a big game by any means. No, Buck loves to talk, especially when the subject turns to the Yankees and Red Sox. Showalter loves to talk about how the Orioles “aren’t afraid of those guys up North” and “you don’t win games with your checkbook,” amongst various other barbs he’s thrown at the Yanks and Sawx. Has the performance of the Orioles merited such big talk? Of course not, the Orioles currently “boast” the lowest winning percentage in the American League and stand 28 games behind first place Boston, 26 games behind the Yankees.

Perhaps Buck might consider giving the talk a rest until the Orioles are a bit closer to their division rivals in the standings. Of course, odds are he’ll have worn out his welcome in yet another organization long before that happens, so I do suppose he might as well get his licks in now.


Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

27 thoughts on “What the Buck?

  1. I had the exact same wtf reaction when I read his comments. To my knowledge, Flanagan's funeral was not on Friday afternoon (if it was, the O's relucatance to play would have been explainable), and his death was not at the time offered as a reason not to play. This is a post hoc justification for an unsupportable willingness to do something sensible just because the Yankees wanted it, and, at the same time, a chance for Buck and the O's to paint the Yankees with the "bad guy" brush. As far as I know, Buck didn't even have any kind of relationship with Mike Flanagan. He should just stfu.

  2. The suicide comment was just silly. What better way to celebrate a baseball player… than to play baseball? Sandwich a memorial between the double header. People like to find controversy in everything.

  3. Given the circumstances surrounding Flanagan's death it was out of place for Girardi to go on and on and on about losing the off day. Behind the scenes say whatever you want but it was inappropriate publicly given the circumstances. Had Tino Martinez died on Thursday Yankee fans would feel the same way. Fine if you disagree but there are good arguments to be made that the O's didn't want to play. As far as Buck not getting the job done, he has had some constraints. Matusz has been a total zero all year, they lost Roberts, lost Scott (and got zero out of him), Arrieta is gone for the year, etc. Girardi was offered the Orioles job if you remember, he didn't take it because he wanted an expensive drink mix where all you had to do is add water. Buck has to be applauded for being willing to take over a very tough job that he knew would not be an overnight fix regardless what you think of his managerial skills. O's are only going to go as far as their pitching, doesn't make Buck an awful manager because the team has given up more runs than any other in baseball.

  4. Two comments on Bret's points about Buck.

    First, he took the job not because he wanted a challenge, but because it was probably the last job he would ever be offered, having worn out his welcome at three previous stops, where he was canned even after putting a winning product on the field.

    Second, every comment made by Buck seems to conclude with "I'll tell you that." He comes off as trying to sound like a bad-ass tough guy all the time. No wonder nobody likes him.

    This had zero to do with Mike Flanagan, and Buck and the Orioles know it.

  5. Oh, and by the way, Mike Flanagan was awesome. I used to hate watching him pitch against the Yanks because he always dominated them. I remember there were 3 Yankee killers all named Mike: Flanagan, Witt and Caldwell. Those guys were studs. That was when the O's were a class act, and a team that you just couldn't dislike even when they were beating you (e.g., in 1979), with guys like Singelton and Palmer and Flanagan and Dempsey and Loewenstein and Roenicke.