After leading culture change, O's duo looks to maintain success

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Orioles had been in a rut for years. Once a consistent contender, the Orioles suffered through 14 consecutive losing seasons, and the culture of the team had changed.

Baltimore brought in manager Buck Showalter in August of 2010 and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette in November of 2011 to attempt to turn around the organization - a monumental assignment with which many before them had been tasked.

Difference was, this duo actually did it, guiding the Orioles to 93 wins and their first playoff berth since 1997.

Baltimore extended both of their contracts through 2018 on Wednesday, giving Showalter five more years and Duquette four.

"They have worked tirelessly to reestablish a winning culture while instilling team-driven goals," Baltimore ownership representative Louis Angelos said at a Thursday news conference at the B&O Warehouse to announce the extensions. "And the players have clearly responded."

Showalter has had a double-digit win improvement with the Orioles, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Yankees over his career, and is a two-time Manager of the Year award winner. Last season, he led Baltimore to a 93-win season and a trip to the American League Division Series.

Showalter said that his goal is to keep the Orioles' success going next season, and added that the team will not be complacent.

"We want to do everything we can to maintain that, and that's a big challenge for us," Showalter said. "We didn't get where we wanted to get. So the word satisfaction doesn't play into these guys' mentality."

Duquette, who had been out of baseball since 2002 prior to last season, played a large role in Baltimore's 24-win improvement with acquisitions including Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and Nate McLouth. Duquette said his aim is to continue building a perennial contender.

"Any good team I've ever been around, since Little League, has stability at the top," Duquette said. "They have clear direction and good players, and we have all those here in Baltimore."

Angelos said the organization is "delighted" to have both Showalter and Duquette under contract long-term.

"Both Buck and Dan are experienced baseball professionals with exceptional talents and distinguished accomplishments," Angelos said. "Each has had an exemplary record of success in building winning organizations."

Showalter became the 58th manager to win 1,000 games last season, and now ranks 49th all-time with 1,078 wins, sixth among active managers. Showalter, who got his first job as a manager in 1992 with New York, said he is glad to be staying with the Orioles well into the future.

"It's just an honor to spend another day in the big leagues," Showalter said. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to spend some more time here in Baltimore."

Duquette is likely glad Showalter is spending more time with the Orioles, too. Duquette said he knew since last offseason that his partnership with Showalter would lead to success.

"This is a man of my own heart. He wants to have a winning team," Duquette said. "I knew that this was a passionate man who wanted to do everything he can to win a game."

Showalter will do his best to help Baltimore have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in over a decade. He said he just wants the attention to be off of him and his contract.

"I'm really looking forward to having the focus be back on our players," Showalter said. "It's about the team, it's about the players. They play the game."

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