A franchise-record 115 losses were apparently too many for Buck Showalter to keep his job.
The 62-year-old manager will not return to the Baltimore Orioles in 2019 after nine seasons leading the team, a source confirmed to ESPN. None were worse than 2018, as Baltimore went 47-115 and became just the fifth major league team since 1900 to lose 115 games or more in a season.
Showalter said Sunday that he was OK with whatever owner Peter Angelos decided to do.
“Mr. Angelos’ family has been great to me and mine,” Showalter said. “So whatever direction they decide to go, I’m at peace with it.”
Showalter will not return to the team in any capacity next season, the source said. The Athletic first reported the decision not to retain Showalter.
Hired midway through the 2010 season, Showalter struggled out of the gate in Baltimore before leading the team to at least 81 wins in five straight seasons (2012-16). The Orioles reached the postseason three times, including the American League Championship Series in 2014.
But the past two years have been struggles.
Baltimore went 75-87 to finish last in the AL East in 2017 and followed that with one of the worst campaigns in major league history. During it, stars like Manny Machado and Zach Britton were traded, as were key pieces such as Brad Brach, Darren O’Day, Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop.
When the Orioles wrapped up play Sunday with a 4-0 win over the Houston Astros, they had finished 61 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East — the most behind a division leader that any team has finished in the divisional era (since 1969). The Orioles’ 115 losses were third-most in the majors since the league went to a 162-game schedule in 1961, trailing only the 1962 Mets (40-120) and 2003 Tigers (43-119).
“It’s about winning the game,” Showalter toward reporters at the end of the season. “That’s one of the things I really feel like we need to get back to, the expectations of winning. That’s part of it. You’ve got to have expectations of winning, regardless of if you’re whatever they call it nowadays — building. I don’t believe in rebuild, the word rebuild. The first thing you have to accomplish, and one of the things I tried to do when we I got here, is to raise the expectations of winning.”
Showalter finishes with 669 wins with the Orioles, second-most by any manager in franchise history (Earl Weaver, 1,480). His 1,353 games managed with the club also are second-most, trailing only Weaver’s 2,541.