BALTIMORE (AP) — Buck Showalter was tired of hearing about his contract. Ever since the end of the most successful season in 14 years, the Baltimore Orioles manager was pestered about the contract.
Showalter would tell everyone that he had a deal for the 2013 season, and he had more job security than most American workers. He wasn’t worried.
Now, Showalter has more job security than almost any American worker including almost all his players, and so does the Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
On Wednesday, the Orioles announced extensions for both. Showalter’s is a five-year extension; Duquette’s a four-year one. They’ll be under contract through the 2018 season with the Orioles.
Showalter, 56, was eager to leave the press conference and join many of his players who had gathered for a three-day mini-camp.
“I’m ready to go down to that locker room,” Showalter said. “I’d like to think that nothing changes from my perspective.”
When Showalter joined the Orioles in Aug. 2010, he had a contract that ran through 2013. Duquette joined the team on a three-year contract in Nov. 2011. In their first season together, Baltimore won 93 games and the American League Wild Card game in Texas before falling in five games to the New York Yankees in the AL Divisional Series.
Duquette, 54, was hired by the Orioles after being out of the game for nearly a decade.
“I was very grateful for the opportunity. I missed baseball and was glad to be back,” Duquette said.
Only one of Showalter’s players, outfielder Adam Jones, has a contract as long as the manager’s. Last May, before signing a six-year extension, Jones sought out the manager to make sure Showalter was committed for the long-term. Convinced he was, Jones re-signed.
“I’m really looking forward to having the focus be back on our players,” Showalter said.
Duquette and Showalter hardly knew each other before teaming in Baltimore. Now, they make jokes about talking baseball on Christmas.
“He’s one of the great pros in the game,” Duquette said. “I’ve never had more fun working with a man or more respect working with a manager. He’s one of the great managers in the game. We’re so lucky to have him here in Baltimore.”
The Orioles will begin spring training on Feb. 12, and Showalter can’t wait.
“When we get to spring training,” he said, “I’ll be right back to being the same grumpy old guy I guess I am.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)