If there’s one thing that a baseball team needs, it’s a driven and respectful coach. The Baltimore Orioles have been lucky enough to claim Buck Showalter as their own for the past 7 years.
Buck Showalter has been the manager of the Baltimore Orioles since 2010. Showalter has been a Major League Manager for almost 20 years. He managed the New York Yankees from 1992 to 1995; the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2000; and the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2006. Showalter has been named the American League Manager of the Year on three occasions: 1994, 2004, and 2014. Showalter managed in the Minor Leagues with the Yankees for five seasons. He played Minor League Baseball in the Yankees’ system for seven years.
Buck Showalter is one of the best managers in Major League Baseball. Showalter is very detail oriented and that is one of his strengths. I spoke with Don Wener, the Baltimore Orioles catching coordinator, about Showalter. Here is what Werner has to say about Showalter: “Buck is brilliant with the pitching staff. He has a great feel for match ups. Buck runs a great spring training. It is very organized. Buck is concerned about all of his players and treats every one of them with respect. Buck’s work ethic is second to none.” Well deserved praise for Buck from Don Werner. Quite often, managers are given more credit than they should be given when a team wins and conversely managers often are criticized more than they should be when a team loses. A manager must have talent to win; the great ones like Buck Showalter know how to maximize that talent and get their teams to overachieve and to play winning baseball.
For instance, after their recent game against Tampa Bay, Showalter talked about their comeback victory over the Rays:
“That’s one of our best wins this year,’’ manager Buck Showalter said. “Talking to the team before the game, you know the tough series over the weekend, you come in tonight and you know it’s going to be cold and nasty and a lot of people probably will look at the weather and not come and you’re going to really be ready to play, and our guys were. I was really proud of them tonight. Tough game to win and our guys figured out a way.”
One of the most important part of a team is a manager who can reach a company’s goals and support their employees, nurturing their strengths and working on their weaknesses. As Mark Brown discussed in a recent post, if you want to build a high performance team, you have to put the work in. These are the requirements you must meet if wish to reach that goal:
1. Connect emotionally. Your team members need to know you truly care about them. It is easy to connect on the highs, but you must also connect at the lows. 2. Connect intellectually. Challenge them. Teach them. Listen to them. 3. Resolve conflicts quickly and effectively. Conflicts can spiral out of control if not addressed immediately. Understand individual views but build cohesive views. 4. Support the individual but align effort in favor of the team. Recognize individual efforts individually, recognize and reward team accomplishments in the team environment.
Any manager could use these tips to make their teams function better and become more productive. Clearly, this is how Showalter was named the American League Manager of the Year so many times and why the teams he has managed are so successful. He builds a high performance team, connects with and supports them, and helps them on their way to success. Hats off to Buck for such a long and fruitful career!