Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette addressed season-ticket holders before Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the annual State of the Orioles address at Camden Yards.
Sitting atop the visitors’ dugout, Showalter and Duquette answered a variety of questions, ranging from the future of Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Henry Urrutia to the chance of the Orioles dealing for a front-line starter before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline to the likelihood of a salary cap in Major League Baseball.
“Well, I’ve got to tell you, Mr. Angelos has been very supportive of us fielding the competitive and contending team,” Duquette said when asked about the chances Orioles owner Peter Angelos would “open the wallet” for a starting pitcher. “Whenever I’ve gone to him with players that I think can help the team, he always has an open mind and has given us the resources to field a competitive team.”
Some fans voiced their hopes for a big move from the club — a trend over the past few months — but Showalter and Duquette both said they like the Orioles’ chances with what they have now.
“I like the people we have, so I’m going to help them, manage them, coach them the best I can, and if things show up like that, because there’s always going to be somebody else,” Showalter said. “There’s always going to be another manager, there’s going to be another coach, there’s going to be another — everything is competitive here. That’s why it’s the best players in the world.”
Larry Sener, 58, of Pikesville, shared the same sentiment as Showalter and Duquette. Sener attended the Orioles’ two home playoff games last October and said he expects the team to return to the postseason. He doesn’t see the need for a quick fix, and he has been happy with the advancement of the young players through the organization.
“I have faith and confidence in the team, and they play that way,” Sener said. “They play with a desire to win. As long as they play that way, the fans are behind them and support them, we’ll get there.”
The fans frequently applauded after Duquette and Showalter’s comments Saturday about what they’re trying to accomplish this season and beyond. And Showalter made sure to reciprocate some of that affection.
“People who don’t get Baltimore, it’s blue collar, it’s sincere,” Showalter said. “People have a sincere love for the Orioles. There’s a purity here. Our guys love the people, the Ravens, being a part of that. There’s a ‘we’ attitude here. The people [who] don’t get it? That’s OK. That’s their loss.”