Orioles manager Buck Showalter is interviewed in next month's Men's Journal, because he's a Man's Man. The entire thing's not up yet, but a couple of his more provocative comments were published last night. On the division rival Red Sox:
"I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll. You got Carl Crawford 'cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?'"
Somewhere, Jonah Keri just creamed his dungarees.
We almost feel bad for Showalter, who's become the go-to guy to turn around terrible teams — and get dumped before the mission is completely. Twice, in New York and Arizona, he's been fired the year before a World Series title.
But Buck needs to be careful where he treads when it comes to payrolls. The Orioles had the 17th highest in baseball last year, spending more than playoff-bound Texas, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. They also had the fourth-worst record. Money doesn't buy wins, though it sure as shit helps.
I for one would like to see how smart Theo Epstein is if his team didn't have to pay luxury tax, and instead received revenue sharing payments. Those are some favorable terms that Showalter's current GM has to his advantage, so whining about competitive imbalance — especially when the Rays have shown they can make it work — isn't a good look.