COMMENTARY | On Jan. 16, the Baltimore Orioles extended the contracts of manager Buck Showalter and Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette through 2018.
Showalter and Duquette helped the Orioles reach the playoffs last season for the first time in 15 years, engineering a remarkable turnaround.
The Orioles won 93 games in 2012 -- 24 more than the previous season -- and earned one of the wild-card slots in the American League. They saw their season end at the hands of the rival New York Yankees in an epic, riveting American League Division Series that lasted five games.
In my eyes, the contract extensions of Showalter and Duquette represent a watershed moment for the Baltimore franchise.
The Orioles have been a model of instability for the last decade and half as they have had general managers, executives and personnel enter and exit the organization at an astonishing rate. Now with Showalter and Duquette signed for six more years, the Orioles have stability at the top of the organization for the first time in years.
Buck Showalter arrived in Baltimore after a stint with ESPN, and he previously had managerial jobs with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers. He took all three of those teams who were struggling on the field at the time and made them into winners within a few seasons of his arrival; however, Showalter also developed a reputation as a task master who wanted to control every aspect of a franchise.
His overbearing manner got him dismissed from all three organizations. However, with the Orioles, he now has finally earned some measure of job security.