BALTIMORE (AP) Buck Showalter was hired to manage the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, his latest rebuilding project in a major league career full of them.
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said Showalter’s first game will be Tuesday night at Camden Yards against the Los Angeles Angels.
Baltimore had the worst record in the majors at 31-70 going into Thursday night against Kansas City and is headed toward its 13th straight losing season. The Orioles fired manager Dave Trembley on June 4 and replaced him on an interim basis with Juan Samuel.
Showalter’s move was first reported by ESPN, where he worked as an analyst. His last television appearance was on Monday.
Showalter is a two-time AL Manager of the Year, winning the award in 1994 with the New York Yankees and 2004 with Texas. Both times, he had taken over teams that were struggling and helped them win.
The 54-year-old Showalter also was the first manager in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was hired well in advance and given time to put the Diamondbacks in position to contend once they started playing in 1998. He was fired after the 2000 season, and Arizona won the World Series the next year.
A former minor league player who never made it to the majors, Showalter is known for a strong will and an obsession with fundamentals, details and preparation – he would often sleep in his office when there was a day game following a night game.
Showalter also does not tolerate players acting like stars, even if they are top talents. He feuded with Alex Rodriguez in 2003, when they were together in Texas.
Showalter’s last year as a manager was 2006 with the Rangers. His overall record is 882-833 in 11 years.
In Baltimore, Showalter faces an especially tough task.
The once-proud franchise has fallen on hard times since reaching the playoffs in 1997, usually finishing far behind rich AL powers Boston and the Yankees. No one pitcher currently on the Orioles has more than four victories this year and no hitter is at .300.
The Orioles interviewed former major league managers Bobby Valentine and Eric Wedge, ex-Baltimore catcher Rick Dempsey and Samuel before settling on Showalter.
MacPhail wanted to have a manager in place this season, to give the newcomer a better chance to evaluate the talent in Baltimore. MacPhail joined the franchise in June 2007.
Trembley was one of four managers to be fired this year. Kansas City’s Trey Hillman, Arizona’s A.J. Hinch and Florida’s Fredi Gonzalez also were dismissed.
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