Toronto Blue Jays third base and infield coach Brian Butterfield worked on Buck Showalter's staffs with the New York Yankees from 1994 to 1995 and with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2000, and he remains a close friend of the Orioles' leading managerial candidate. Butterfield acknowledged that he's surprised Showalter has been out of the managerial game since after the 2006 season, but he has sensed recently that his former boss is eager to get back into it.
"I think he has had the itch [to manage] ever since that he's gotten out, and I don't think he'll ever lose that," Butterfield said. "He keeps everything pretty close to the vest, but I assume over the last three years since he's been out, he's wanted to get back in somewhere. I hope he does. … He has so many redeeming qualities that it's a little bit of a surprise to me why he hasn't been in the league for a while. But you know what, speaking to him a couple of times recently, he says he feels good physically. The managing and the coaching sometimes can take a toll on you, but I think he's in a way where he's itching to get back. I think if it were to happen in Baltimore, I think he would be a tremendous fit."
Several of Showalter's former players and coaches have talked about how well the current ESPN analyst deals with young players, which is one of the reasons he jumped to the top of the Orioles' wish list in their quest to find a long-term replacement for Dave Trembley.
"I think he would be a good fit anywhere. I think he's a fit with young players, I think he's a fit with older players. He's one of the best baseball people who I've ever been around. He's prepared, he's detailed, he does things the right way. He's demanding. He's demanding of his coaches as well as his players," Butterfield said. "I think good baseball people are going to fit in any type of situation. I think regardless of what type of ballclub he's going to take over, whether it's a team with running speed, a team that hits home runs or a pitch/defense team, he's such a good baseball man that he can adjust to the personnel that he is.
"Whether they are young or they are old, he's patient. I think with the way he carries himself, there is a sense in that clubhouse that they build their own confidence. The one thing that he always stressed to me is when you have a clubhouse that polices itself, that is the ideal clubhouse to have. Wherever he goes and at whatever point, I think that's the first thing he'll try to gauge, what type of veteran players he has and are they going to be the guys that you need to police themselves. He just has so many good qualities. I think he could manage any team. I think he can take a football team and be successful."