FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA — FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- New York Yankees manager Buck Showalter is a big fan of his counterpart with the Orioles, John Oates.
"He'll always be on my favorite people list -- because he got me a $1,500 bonus when I was playing Class AAA," said Showalter.
The year was 1983 and Oates was the manager of the Yankees' Columbus farm team in the International League. "They were sending me to [Double-A] and I needed one more day [at Triple-A] to get my bonus," said Showalter.
"I told Johnny and he told them he needed me for one more day. He's on my all-time favorite list."
When the story was related to him, Oates smiled and said, "Tell him he owes me $750."
Oates didn't remember all of the details of the story, only that he asked to keep Showalter another day. "If I did help him get the money [part of a standard signing bonus], he deserved it," said Oates. "He played the last game of the year for me in Nashville on one leg and helped us win the Southern League championship."
Oates remembers Showalter as an inquisitive player. "He was a pain," said the Orioles manager. "He always wanted to know what I was doing.
"He kept me on my toes. He was one guy who had enough interest to question me," said Oates. "The others, you'd say something and they'd jump.
"But he was always wanting to know why -- oh, was he a pain. He wanted to know how long we were hitting, which group he was in, who was hitting him ground balls, everything.
"He had to have everything organized. And I'll bet he's running his training camp the same way," said Oates.
Told that Showalter always has papers with schedules, Oates nodded and smiled. "Same way," he said. "Same way."