I'm not exactly breaking news when I point out that manager Buck Showalter has a reputation for being controlling, rigid and tough on players, especially young ones who make mental mistakes. The first-year Orioles had heard all those things before they reported to spring training. However, several of them have said since that they've found Showalter to be nothing like that. Instead, they say that he's been a player's manager, allowing the veterans plenty of leeway, not throwing anybody under the bus in the press, and sticking with his players even when they are struggling. I bring this up because I think Showalter deserves credit for giving Blake Davis a second straight start after the second baseman made an error that allowed the game-tying and game-winning runs to score in the Orioles' loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday. Showalter took some heat for playing Davis at second base when the 27-year-old hadn't played there all year. By playing him there again, Showalter not only showed faith in Davis, who had all of Thursday's off day to think about his gaffe and responded by getting two hits, including a two-run triple, and making a nice running catch, but he sent a message to the rest of the clubhouse that he has the player's backs. There is nothing worse for an inexperienced big leaguer to make a mistake and then be chained to the bench. Showalter didn't allow that, and trust me, players notice such things. He's done several things this year to send a similar message. He went to owner Peter Angelos to get the organization's facial hair rules relaxed. He's stuck up for Felix Pie several times after the outfielder made a mistake. He's allowed players to take batting practice in shorts on a couple of really hot days, and he's refused to bury some of the accomplished veterans by benching them or dropping them to the bottom of the lineup. Giving Davis another start was the latest example.