BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Orioles fans are a little anxious for this season as several star players are in the final years of their contracts. The news at camp Thursday is the signing of pitcher Chris Tillman, back with the birds.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter sat down with WJZ for an interview to discuss the team and what could be ahead.
“Each situation, each year, calls, I think, for a different memory, so to speak and a different, you know, you want to have a long memory, but you don’t want to become a prisoner to the past,” said Showalter.
The O’s most recent past is an unpleasant memory, a losing season in 2017. It was the first for the franchise in six years.
“I told the players, we lost some of that trust last year, should have, from the fans,” said Showalter. “You know? There’s nothing worse that I can think of that somebody thinks we’re headed back to some of the challenges we had, you know, six, seven, or eight years ago.”
Showalter is well aware of Baltimore’s black hole of losing that 14 year stretch before he arrived. He turned expectations around in his 7-plus seasons and in doing that, he has rejuvenated the O’s fan base. Success that’s created a powerful bond with Baltimore fans.
“It’s just a connection of — I think they see through a lot of the b.s., and sincerity and pure heart play there, and it’s — they want the Orioles to be good, you know, it’s a beautiful stadium, best in baseball, but they don’t go there to see the stadium, they go there to see the Orioles win,” said Showalter. “I can’t tell you the amount of pride I get when I know that the fans are happy after a game. Happy in the playoffs. I’ve tried no to nothing here but put my head down and grind and where it takes you, it takes you.”
The 2018 journey begins in Sarasota and where it takes Buck Showalter, after this season, is unknown, as he enters the final year of his contract.
Stay with WJZ, as sports director Mark Viviano reports from Orioles spring training in Sarasota this week.