Some 21 years after last coaching the New York Yankees, Buck Showalter is still as bitter as they come.
Nothing like a bitter rivalry to get the ol’ juices flowing months before Spring Training begins. But that’s exactly what Orioles manager Buck Showalter did this week while speaking out about his one-time employer, the New York Yankees.
With speculation circulating that Showalter’s current club might have some interest in acquiring left-fielder Brett Gardner, Showalter said, “I haven’t heard that one at all. …They wouldn’t trade with us. Unless it was somebody they wanted to pass off on us. Tried that before.”
Well if those aren’t fighting words, I don’t know what are. Buck being about as transparent as a windshield during a noreaster, failed to allude as to which player or players he was referring to.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Showalter has tried to ruffle the Yankees’ feathers – as back in 2011, he chastised Derek Jeter for allegedly “overreacting” to pitches that seemed to be on the inside part of the plate, in which Jeter jumped back from.
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“The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout,” Showalter then told Mens Journal. “Our guys are thinking, ‘Wow, he’s screaming at Derek Jeter.’ Well, he’s always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets — and yes, he [ticks] me off.”
Did Showalter think he deserved a medal for coming after one of baseball’s greatest ambassadors? Because to me, the 60-year-old’s most recent comments paint the picture of jaded manager still hell-bent on his removal as Yankees’ manager some two decades ago.
Did he deserve to get fired after the heart wrenching ’95 season? Well, it depends on who you ask within the organization. It’s been well documented that Showalter isn’t the easiest person to get along with, especially when he’s in a position of power, or as an analyst at ESPN, or in line for a Subway sandwich.
Perhaps Buck is just agitated by being at the helm of a team that continues to be good, but not good enough. Instead of typically focusing on the negative about things he has no control of, like who the Yankees may or may not have wanted in return for Gardner – Buck ought to put more onus on getting more out of the talent he institutes on the field.
Now that I think of it, that ’95 Yankees club played a lot like most of the teams Showalter has managed during his tenure in Baltimore.
Is a trade between the two division rivals completely absurd? No, it’s just highly unlikely – especially if Showalter has any say in the transaction. Because if he does, the two organizations probably won’t be signing off on their first trade since 2006, when the Yankees sent Jaret Wright and cash to the Orioles for Chris Britton.