As Orioles near finish line, Buck Showalter not worried about uncertain future with club

The questions about Buck Showalter’s future with the Orioles began months ago, first surfacing at last December’s winter meetings, so he’s seasoned at responding to the queries.

But as Showalter’s time as Orioles manager might be winding down to his final days in the dugout, he seemed more comfortable Thursday talking about the Ravens’ next opponent or the rainfall totals in Baltimore than his future beyond this weekend, steering answers elsewhere when asked about what lingers ahead.


The Orioles will finish their worst season in franchise history with a four-game series against the defending World Series champion Houston Astros at Camden Yards. After that, it would seem that the Orioles must move quickly to implement the next stage of their rebuild, which includes deciding the futures of Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette.

Both of their contracts expire at the end of October, and based on the team’s historically poor performance, this weekend could mark the end for both key figures of the Orioles’ recent resurgence.


Asked whether this weekend will mean anything to him emotionally since it could potentially be his final games in Baltimore, Showalter said he’s not thinking about that.

“We all have some private thoughts and some emotions about that,” Showalter said. “But I don’t think it serves the organization for me to be worried about that right now. We’ve got some things to do the last four games.”

Showalter said he hasn’t been told what his future holds, and he said Thursday that he’s OK with that.

“No, I shouldn’t know,” Showalter said. “I’ve got a contract through the end of October, so nobody needs to or had to do that. There’s a lot of people in this world like that. Who am I? Really? Is it that important?”

Showalter can be credited for changing the clubhouse culture in Baltimore, and that resulted in three playoff berths over a five-year stretch from 2012 to 2016. In parts of nine years with the Orioles, Showalter is the second winningest manager in club history — his 668 wins entering Thursday night trail only Earl Weaver — even though this horrible season will give him a career losing record with the Orioles.

His clubhouse has changed dramatically, the pieces of those winning teams traded away in July — from Manny Machado to Zach Britton and Brad Brach and even controllable players like Jonathan Schoop and Kevin Gausman — signaling the Orioles are prepared for a complete teardown that could include the manager’s office.

The belief is that if Showalter isn’t re-signed as manager, he would be offered a job elsewhere in the Orioles organization, according to a source.

Whatever decision is made on Showalter, the Orioles’ top-level decision makers — which include John and Louis Angelos — realize that if they go in a different direction, it would benefit them to make those decisions quickly after the season ends.


Showalter played down the uncertainty, saying there are much worse things to be waiting about.

“It won’t be difficult,” Showalter said. “Think about it? Difficult? What’s difficult in this? Compared to what, the uncertainty of waiting for a test to come back about something, about your mother or your wife? Really, I’m serious about this. In the whole scheme of life, it shouldn’t be. Shame on me if it is. You know how good they’ve been to me. I’m not ever going to forget that, regardless of what happens.”