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There's already quite a buzz around here about the April edition of Men's Journal, in which Orioles manager Buck Showalter takes a few pointed swings at the well-heeled Yankees and Red Sox.

Showalter will make headlines in New York for some pokes at Derek Jeter, but the most interesting comment was his shot across the bow at Red Sox GM Theo Epstein:

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"I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll. You got Carl Crawford 'cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, 'How the hell are they beating us?' "

Of course, there's a lot more to being the GM of the Red Sox or Yankees than spending all that money. Epstein will always be considered a genius in Boston because of his role in reversing the Curse of the Bambino, and the Red Sox have drafted and developed some very good players.

It's pretty obvious what Showalter is doing here, and you have to like it if you're tired of getting kicked to the bottom of the AL East standings every year. He's trying to change the culture in the Orioles organization. To use a line I usually throw out when I'm getting killed at Texas Hold'em, "it's time to change the emphasis from losing to winning."

The Orioles aren't going to beat the Yankees and Red Sox because Showalter put a chip on their shoulder, but it can't hurt to erase the air of resignation that has surrounded this organization since the Yankees started spending $200 million per year on payroll and the Red Sox decided to try and keep up.

That attitude adjustment was apparent during the final two months of the 2010 season and Showalter wants to take it to another level. I don't know if he'll succeed -- there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered about this O's roster -- but it's pretty obvious that he's not willing to settle for less.

I like the fact that he's not willing to kiss anybody's ring. I'm just glad he didn't tell them where they could kiss him.

Associated Press photo

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