For being in one of the most popular TV shows of all time, Orioles manager Buck Showalter's understanding of popular culture remains hilariously tenuous.
For instance: "Star Wars." Showalter knows who Yoda is, right? The small green guy with big ears? Speaks like this, he does?
"What is Yoda?"
Perhaps his disconnect from the zeitgeist comes from that first encounter with TV celebrity. On Tuesday, in Norfolk, Va., Showalter said he didn't even know what "Seinfeld" was before he appeared in 1994's "The Chaperone." This is unbelievable. In the 1993-94 TV season, "Seinfeld" was the third-highest-rated show in the U.S., ahead of "Roseanne" and "Monday Night Football." Suddenly, this Yoda thing makes more sense.
Anyway. This fantastic revelation led me down the Showalter-"Seinfeld" rabbit hole. Showalter had to join the Screen Actors Guild, which costs some money, because who else is going to handle residual payouts? And with "Seinfeld" on your aunt's favorite cable channel nonstop, surely the checks would keep rolling in. Only they haven't. Quite the opposite. I don't know how this is possible, but Showalter said last year in Salisbury, and again in Norfolk, that the episodes are actually a money drain.
"If you walk up to me and say, 'Hey, Buck, I saw you on that 'Seinfeld' show,' every time they play that show, it costs me $19.27. It does," he said. "I had to join the actors guild. ... The taxes they pay every time there's a residual on the episode, you figure all this stuff in, it costs me money. So if you see the show and you come up and go, 'Hey, Buck, saw you on the show,' I go, '$19.27.' Seriously. You've got to be kidding me. So that's how I feel about "Seinfeld.' "
I'll be honest: This just seems like a convenient way for Showalter to avoid conversations about TV.