By Matt Palmer
ORIOLES PAGE ORIOLES VIDEO
There has been as much speculation surrounding Buck Showalter's future with the Orioles lately as there has been Andy MacPhail's.
Showalter's future with the club, in some ways, is tied up in MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations, who most anticipate leaving the club. MacPhail could make quick work of the speculation and announce his decision once the season is over, or he could enjoy a few weeks off and announce his conclusion once the dust has settled.
The idea of Showalter as MacPhail's replacement has gotten some traction in the media speculation department lately. Showalter, hired only a year ago to be the Orioles' skipper, could move to the front office. I don't see, it, though.
Showalter is a manager, first and foremost, and while this season has been trying, he's also enjoying the late-season wins the team is accumulating lately. It's reminding him why spent years on television wishing he was back in the dugout.
Showalter wore "proud father"-like smiles last night as he talked about Vladimir Guerrero's hit that gave him the all-time hits record for Dominican-born players. He also couldn't hide his enthusiasm about Robert Andino hitting an inside-the-park home run while his father watched him play from the stands. It was the first time Robert Sr. had ever attended one of Andino's professional games.
Showalter hurt his ankle before Monday's game, but he returned to the dugout during the game so he could see a Guerrero hit.
"You want to be there for things like that," Showalter said. "Everybody is so proud of him. You feel so blessed to have a guy like him around who just likes to play baseball. He's a manager's delight because you know he's going to be there. You know he's going to post up."
You know who doesn't feel that buzz? MacPhail doesn't spend every day with players, getting to know them and pushing them to be better than they are. He assembles the team and hands the keys to Showalter to make magic happen. Showalter forges relationships that are lasting.
When asked about Andino's home run, Showalter again showed life.
"Thats almost as big a moment for me, because his dad was here," Showalter said. "I was hoping Robert would do something to let his father see what a good year he's had and what a good player he's become."
A general manager doesn't see those things each day. He doesn't feel them.
But, Showalter does and the more the Orioles beat postseason contenders at the end of the year, the more he'll be captured by the buzz. Of course, magic was largely absent this season. But, the playoff-like atmosphere at Camden Yards Monday is what drives Showalter and what will likely keep him wearing a uniform next season.