I'm sure you all have heard and read this, but Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette have had their contracts extended until 2018.
Finally, after nearly a decade-plus, the Orioles finally have some stability within the organization. Obviously, most fans have heard in the past week or two that the organization was working on a long-term deal for Showalter; however, I did not hear much about Duquette.
Both men worked magic last year to get the Birds in postseason for the first time in 15 years. They came to the Orioles hungry for a second opportunity and wanted to do their part to create a winner.
They have done so.
Part one of the mission is accomplished: the team is no longer a perennial loser.
Part two of the mission: winning a World Series for the first time in 30 years.
Peter Angelos has been given a lot of grief (much deserved, in my opinion) throughout his ownership throughout the years. However, this evening, he and everyone with the organization have given a lot of fans hope and a cause for celebration.
I'm still critical about what the team has done to improve in their offseason, but it's a good night for Orioles fans.
Birdland will be sure celebrating this Saturday at FanFest.
The Full Press Release from the Baltimore Orioles:
Orioles announce contract extensions through 2018 for Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter
The Orioles today announced contract extensions through the 2018 season for Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations DAN DUQUETTE and Manager BUCK SHOWALTER.
A veteran of over two decades in baseball operations at the Major League level, including 11 of those seasons in a general manager role with the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and Orioles, Duquette, 54, has utilized strong scouting and player development to construct contending franchises. In 2012 the Orioles made a 24-game improvement from the previous year to finish 93-69 and win the American League Wild Card. Players acquired by Duquette, including JASON HAMMEL, WEI-YIN CHEN and NATE McLOUTH, played key roles in the club's successful season.
Duquette's eight seasons as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Red Sox from 1994 through 2001 included three playoff teams (1995, 1998 and 1999), and his acquisitions helped lay the groundwork for the club's World Series championship in 2004. The club made the playoffs in back-to-back years in 1998 and 1999, the first time in 80 seasons the franchise had accomplished the feat.
Prior to joining the Red Sox, Duquette spent six seasons with the Montreal Expos, including a two-year stint as Vice President and General Manager from 1992-1993. Duquette was instrumental in assembling Expos teams that compiled a 255-183 record, best in baseball, from 1992-94 despite one of the lowest payrolls in the game.
Showalter, 56, became the 17th full-time manager of the Orioles on August 2, 2010 and has led the club to a 196-185 record in 381 regular season games. He piloted the Orioles to a trip to the American League Division Series in 2012, the franchise's most wins and first playoff appearance since 1997.
On May 1, 2012, Showalter became the 58th manager in major league history to win 1,000 games when the Orioles defeated the Yankees. He enters the 2013 season ranked 49th all-time with 1,078 wins and is sixth among active managers.
In each of his managerial posts, Showalter has overseen a double-digit win improvement in his second full season with a club. He led a 24-win improvement in 2012 with the Orioles, an 18-game improvement in 2004 with Texas, a 35-game improvement in 1999 with Arizona and a 12-game improvement in 1993 with the Yankees.
A two-time Manager of the Year award winner (2004 with Texas and 1994 with the Yankees), Showalter was honored with The Sporting News version of the award in 2012, and finished 2nd to Oakland's Bob Melvin for the official BBWAA award.