Former Orioles manager Buck Showalter spent the holidays at home in Texas, but he has been keeping an eye on the playoff-bound Baltimore Ravens.
Showalter said in a New Year’s Day text message that he has stayed in touch with John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome over the course of the NFL season and is excited about the postseason prospects of the team that plays across the parking lot from the Orioles at Camden Yards.
“So happy for John and Ozzie,’’ Showalter wrote. “We’ve exchanged some texts the last few weeks. I wouldn’t want to play them in the playoffs. They are a true ‘wild card team’ that won the division.”
During the 8 ½ years Showalter managed the Orioles, he was a guest of the Ravens for several games at M&T Bank Stadium and got nice ovations from the crowd when he was shown on the video board.
He and Harbaugh became friends early on and created a charity golf rivalry between the two organizations. Harbaugh lauded the job Showalter did as Orioles manager at one of his weekly news conferences in October.
“I've learned so much from him over the years as a coach and a leader, and relating to players, all different things that come up,” he said. “And just wanted to acknowledge that and, I think, what a great job he did in Baltimore, how amazing he's been for the fans, for his fans in Baltimore, how much I've enjoyed watching his teams play, what a great job he did for the Orioles.”
The feeling obviously is mutual.