Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles fire Buck Showalter, ousting one of the Red Sox' greatest needlers

Alex Reimer
October 03, 2018 - 2:36 pm

The Orioles rescued Buck Showalter from his misery Wednesday, firing him after an atrocious 47-win campaign. At this stage in his career, it’s debatable whether Showalter will receive another chance to manage again. 

That means one of the greatest gnats in the Red Sox’ side may never wear his baseball pants inside of a dugout again.

It seems crazy to think about this now, but during the first half of Showalter’s tenure, the Orioles were actually pretty good –– qualifying for the playoffs three times in six years. Along the way, Showalter made it a point to needle Boston whenever possible. In 2011, his second season on the job, Showalter proclaimed he liked “whipping” the Red Sox’ butts. Though the O’s only secured 69 wins that year, they did defeat the Sox in the last game of the season, putting the exclamation point on perhaps the worst September collapse in baseball history.

In the five years prior to Showalter’s arrival in Baltimore –– 2005 to 2010 –– the Red Sox went 81-31 against the Orioles. That changed dramatically over the next eight years, however. The Orioles went 80-78 against Boston with Showalter at the helm, even though they dropped 16 of 19 contests this season. 

The most notable incident involving the Red Sox and Showalter’s Orioles came last May, when Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes nearly nailed Manny Machado in the head with a fastball. Afterwards, Showalter said he admired his team’s “courage” for not retaliating.

Even this summer, while the Orioles limped through one of the more embarrassing campaigns ever, Showalter still took some shots at his rival up north. In late July, the Orioles started a game  despite the fact every weather forecast imaginable projected steady rain in Baltimore throughout the evening. The affair wound up getting delayed roughly 30 minutes after the Red Sox had taken a 5-0 lead.

The following day, Showalter hinted it was retribution for the Red Sox forcing the Orioles to play an entire game in freezing rain earlier in the season. “At least it wasn’t sleeting the whole game,” Showalter told reporters.

You have to admire a man who kicks up when he’s down.