Report: Orioles to hire Showalter as manager

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 6:  Manager Buck Showalter talks with catcher Gerald Laird #51 of the Texas Rangers against the Kansas City Royals in a spring training game on March 6, 2003 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.   The Rangers defeated the Royals 11-8. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reports that Buck Showalter will take over as the next manager of the Orioles by this weekend.

Showalter is 882-833 in his career as a manager, a winning percentage of .514. But he inherits a monumental challenge in Baltimore.

The Orioles haven’t had a winning season since 1997, and despite a strong core of young talent that features Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz and others, they must deal with life in baseball’s toughest division, the AL East.

Eric Wedge, Rick Dempsey and Bobby Valentine are among the other candidates reportedly to have interviewed for Baltimore’s managing vacancy.

Assuming he is hired, Showalter has his work cut out for him in Baltimore, which went into the All-Star break with baseball’s worst record at 29-59.

As the article indicates, the O’s have a solid young core in Jones, Wieters, Matusz and Nick Markakis. But they’ve under performed (even for the Orioles) the entire year and it appears as though the younger players need a fire lit under their asses.

We’ll see if Showalter can bring the strong, reputable presence that the club has desperately needed for years.

Update: The Baltimore Sun is now reporting that while Showalter is still the leading candidate to take over as the next manager of the Orioles, the club is not set to hire him by this weekend as Price suggests.

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