Buck Showalter on Orioles being a contender: “It’s about the pitching. It’s no secret.”

May 16, 2012 – 9:40 am by Steven Cuce

The Baltimore Orioles have had a great start to the 2012 campaign. After a month the O’s are still going strong as they are tired with the Tampa Bay Rays for 1st place in the American League East with a record of 23-14.

Let’s give Buck Showalter some credit here. The Orioles manager has had an uphill climb ever since he took over this struggling ball club in 2010 and has got this team believing they can do something special.

Buck Showalter joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss the Baltimore Orioles being a legitimate contender this season, being more prepared to handle the media attention now that he used to be a media member, notching his 1,000th career victory, the loss that still stings the most in his career and the toughest managerial job in baseball.

Are the Orioles real for the long haul this season?

“I don’t know Dan. It’s like the agent says it’s not about the money day it’s about the money. It’s about the pitching. It’s no secret why Tampa competes. They know who they are and their starting pitching takes them deep into the game which allows you to set up a bullpen every year because you have less outs to get and put people in the position that they have the ability to handle and if we go deep into games with our starters we will competitive. It’s not a real complicated thing and that’s what we’ve done early in the season with some exceptions and if that continues we will be competitive.”

After working for ESPN and formally being a part of the media, how does that help you with the media? Does it change how you deal with the media?

“I think it’s helped. I think it just kind of verified some thoughts that I had. I think you are sympathetic to their needs more and realize that there is nothing personal about it. Everybody has got a job to do and you try to take time and you count to five sometimes and answer the same question again, but I think that is what is so different about our sport as opposed to basketball or football. We play every day. I  may met with the media two times a day and you get to know them. It’s about relationships. It’s part of the job description and the most important thing is probably the fans. It’s part of something you have to try to be good at.”

Just got your 1,000th victory. How did that feel?

“I’m getting real close to 1,000 losses. I remember every one of them. My wife says I could remember pitch sequences from 1990, but I can’t where the keys are.”

Out of all the losses, which one hurts the most?

“Last night. Right now last night. I guess probably game five of 1995 playoffs in Seattle [while he managed the Yankees]. You rehash all of those back-and-fourth. There’s always things that sit in your head and you get about five minutes to relish the win as you are walking up the runway and you are thinking about how to keep that feeling. I’ve been fortunate enough to manage a team that won 100 games and there were times in the season where you felt like you might not win another game. I’ve been on expansion teams and there were periods of the season where you really had it going on and you may not lose another game and you gotta keep reality in check, so understand the flow of a season. That’s what I like about our team. Our guys really have a grip on reality with all the drama that goes on. Anytime you play the Yankees there’s a lot of drama involved and I think they have a grip on and I am real proud of them.”

What managerial job would eat you up more? What is the toughest managerial job in baseball?

“Probably managing in Triple A. Believe it or not. It’s not to go away from the Major League’s, but I think one of the toughest jobs in our sport is Triple A because everybody is unhappy there. We got guys on their way back. You got guys going down. You got guys thinking they should be up. I mean nobody is really happy there and we got a great guy in Triple A in Ron Johnson, who was the first base coach for Boston last year. He has done a great job for us down there. We are really lucky to have him.”

Listen to Buck Showalter on The Dan Patrick Show here

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