Let’s deal with this now so we don’t have to deal with it before the April issue of Men’s Journal hits the stands.
According to the Sporting News, Orioles manager Buck Showalter — who for some reason Men’s Journal thinks is a hot subject for a profile — has taken pot shots at Boston’s general manager, Theo Epstein, and Derek Jeter. “I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay (Rays) payroll,” Showalter said. “You’ve got (former Rays outfielder] Carl Crawford ’cause you paid him more than anyone else (a seven year contract for $142 million) and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt.”
Well, I can answer that question for him.
Theo Epstein is very smart, having led the Red Sox to two World Series wins in the last seven years, which is exactly two more than all other Red Sox GMs have been able to produce since Babe Ruth was pitching for them.
How smart would Theo Epstein be with the Tampa Bay Rays’ payroll? Less smart, but I can promise you that after a few seasons, the Rays payroll would be bigger because Epstein would have helped create more revenue.
Buck’s second round of trash talk was directed at Jeter. Showalter bitches about the calls that go Derek’s way. “The first time (the Orioles under Showalter) went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout. Our guys are thinking, ‘Wow, he’s screaming at Derek 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.”
Ah ha! We knew there had to be some secret as to how Jeter has hit over .300 eleven times and compiled a career batting average of .314.
Finally, Buck reveals what no one else – presumably including himself over 15 years – has previously noted, namely that Jeter jumps back from inside pitches.
You might think that Buck would want to wait a while before antagonizing his American League East rivals right out of the gate. When he says “I like whipping their butt” about the Red Sox, he’s referring to the 3-3 record the Orioles posted against Boston after Showalter was hired in August. His career record as a manager is 916-856, for a W-L of .517 percent. His newly acquired reputation as a genius is pretty much based on the 34-23 record Baltimore had over their last two months of the regular season. Let’s see how long he maintains that pace.