Tha Sports Junkies 101

Bye Bye Buck Showalter?

Buck Showalter Keith Allison/Via


Bye Bye Buck Showalter?

As the ball sailed into the left field seats the Twitter world had already began to erupt with thoughts of “Where was Zach Britton?” and “Fire Buck Showalter.”  In the bottom of the 11th inning with one out and runners on 1st and 3rd, Edwin Encarnacion stepped to the plate.  At this moment many fans had already started to look to the bull pen area expecting to see arguably the best pitcher in baseball heading in to shut this rally down.  Much to the chagrin of the Orioles fans, Manager Buck Showalter decided to let Ubaldo Jimenez try to push it to a 12th inning.

To many baseball fans this was one of the worst managerial decisions made in playoff baseball history.  Just like always, the Twitter community would react.



Buck Showalter

Many people started to think that there is no possible way a manager would just not put Britton in the game.  They began to speculate that Britton must have been injured when he warmed up earlier in the game.  Everyone waited to hear an explanation from the 3-time manager of the year.  Well they would get one and it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.


“He was fine, he was fine,” Showalter said of Britton. “I considered a lot of things during the course of the game. Our guys did a good job getting set point, we just couldn’t finish it off.


Regardless of his reasoning, not using a reliever who had a 0.54 ERA during the regular season is inexcusable.  Zach Britton has proven to be as dominate of a pitcher as any pitcher has been all season.  In 67 innings pitched he has allowed 38 hits, 7 runs, recorded 47 saves and finished 2016 with a .84 WHIP and a .54 ERA.

Many people are quick to react to the one bad decision that Showalter will answer for until the end of time.  However, Baltimore fans must keep a few things in mind when the sting from this loss fades a little.  Under Buck Showalter the Orioles have seen progress from where they were in 2010.  In 2012 Showalter and the Orioles broke a 14 year losing record streak and reached the postseason for the first time since 1997.  In 2014 he led the Orioles to an AL East title and Showalter took home the AL Manager of the Year Award.  Now that brings us to the 2016 season.  The Orioles took the Baltimore fans on an exciting ride throughout the 2016 season.  They were in contention for the AL East most of the year and claimed a Wild Card birth and an opportunity to contend for the World Series.

Buck Showalter himself would never disagree that given what he knows now, he should have brought in Zach Britton in the bottom of the 11th inning.  However, its time for Orioles fans to truly throw away what they have and say “Bye Bye Buck” just yet. Showalter deserves all the criticism for this bad decision but if the Baltimore Orioles are able to add any pieces to this already great team, they should get another shot at redemption in 2017 and Buck Showalter should be there to lead them again.