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Showalter playing big role in Orioles' revival

Manager Buck Showalter is a prime reason the Orioles franchise has turned around.

I'm not really sure why, but my father-in-law gave my son the nickname Buck for some reason. I'm not really sure if it's because of Buck Showalter, but I think it has something to do with that.

Wednesday August 3, 2016 marks the six-year anniversary of Showalter managing his first game for the Orioles. He won his 518th game with the club Tuesday night, moving him into sole possesion of second place on the organization's all-time wins list. He's unlikely to catch Earl Weaver who has 1,480 wins.

I'll never forget when Weaver was in Baltimore in 2012 for the unveiling of his statue at Camden Yards -- the day before my son was born -- and he closed his speech by thanking the artist for making him look like Buck. The similarities between the two are at tims scary.

It's hard to imagine the impact Showalter has had on the franchise, but he is 518-454 (entering play Aug. 3, 2016) with the Orioles. And if the Orioles can hold on and win their second AL East crown in the past three years, he's likely the American League Manager of the Year.

In 2010, Showalter took over a team that was 32-73. They were 34-23 to finish the season. He became the first manager in major league history to be hired after August 1, that lead his team to more wins than it had before he took over.

Of course when Showalter arrived the Orioles were a franchise that was mired a span of 14 straight losing seasons. The 2011 Orioles won three more games in Showalter's first full season.

Then came 2012 when losing stopped and the club won 93 games and reached the postseason for the first time since 1997. The Orioles took the Yankees to the brink, losing in five games in the Divisional Series.

The 2014 season brought the team's first division title in 17 years and entering this season, the Orioles had the most wins in the American League with 355 (since 2012).

It's hard to pinpoint the impact a manager really has on the field and just how much he truly influences the wins and losses.  But in the case of Showalter and the Orioles it's clear.

He understands how to build a winning major league franchise and has his finger in a little bit of everything in the organization. And who doesn't love his press conferences?

The only thing missing is Showalter winning his first World Series title. Something that would cement his place among the Orioles' greats, if he's not already there.

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