The 2012 MLB season saw the Baltimore Orioles finally make their way back to the postseason for the first time since 1997. With as many injuries as they had throughout the season, manager Buck Showalter deserves as much credit as the players for helping make the right moves.
Buck Showalter was named the 2012 Sporting News American League Manager of the Year, and rightfully so.
Buck led the O’s to a Wild-Card berth after posting a record of 93-69, reversing their 2011 record of 69-93.
When Showalter first took over in Baltimore, he helped the O’s finish the 2010 season in style going 34-23 over their last 57 games.
Buck seems to have a knack for righting the ship. His first full season with the New York Yankees in 1992 saw him go 76-86 but then improved to 88-74 the following season.
When he took over in Arizona in 1998, the Diamondbacks went 65-97, but the following year they went 100-62.
The same happened in Texas when the Rangers went 71-91 in his first year as Ranger’s skipper, then they improved to 89-73 his following year.
Since coming to Baltimore, Buck has led the O’s to an overall record of 196-185 under his watch.
Voting was tight for the 2012 Sporting News AL Manager of the Year Award. Showalter received four votes, edging out Bob Melvin who received three votes, and Robin Ventura who earned one vote. Melvin did a great job in Oakland, helping the A’s seemingly come out of nowhere to win the AL West. Melvin was admittedly well deserving, but Showalter did an amazing job with the O’s, and deserved the honor.
Buck has twice before won the AL Manager of the Year Award, once in 1994 with the Yankees, after leading them to a strike shortened 70-43 record, and then again in 2004 as he turned the Rangers around from a 71-win season to an 89-win season.
The team of Showalter and Dan Duquette has seemed to work out well so far in Baltimore, and one can only wonder what the 2013 MLB season will bring. If 2012 is any indication, 2013 will see the O’s soar to even greater heights.
by Andy Mindzak