Somebody wrote into the blog today and said that everybody in the media was wrong about the impact hiring a new manager would have on this team. I guess I fall into that category -- if we're talking everybody in the media, I guess I qualify -- and I'll be the first to "man up" and concede that I didn't think Buck could turn this team on a dime.

In fact, I said in late July that the Orioles should wait until today to put Buck in the dugout, so obviously I underestimated his impact on the ballclub, but I've already admitted to that several times.

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Now, let's get down to it. If one more person tells me that the Orioles would be a .500 team right now if Andy MacPhail had hired Buck at the start of the season, I'm going to explode into the sportswriter version of a supernova, which will not be pretty. You'll need several rolls of paper towels. I'm going to tell you right now what would have happened if the Orioles had hired Showalter in time for Opening Day.

The Orioles would be well below .500 right now -- because Brian Roberts was hurt in the offseason, closer Michael Gonzalez was hurt in spring training, and Felix Pie tore a muscle in his back and went on the 60-day disabled list. Then there's the lack of a big-time power guy in the middle of the lineup, but maybe Buck would have brought that guy with him.

The bottom line: The chronic complainers would be ripping MacPhail for hiring a retread manager and burning up the blog with all the reasons why Showalter was never the right choice in the first place.

My take: Enjoy this while it lasts and hope it last for years, but I've got news for you. If the Orioles don't sign or acquire a big-time bat and one more starting pitcher, they won't be a .500 team next year either.

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