I can't knock Showalter for his comments on Jeter, Epstein

March 28, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Orioles manager Buck Showalter raised eyebrows around baseball and the temperatures of a pair of AL East rivals with his comments in the April issue of "Men's Journal" about Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Red Sox G.M. Theo Epstein.

In case you missed it, Showalter basically said that Jeter deserves an Oscar for his theatrics in the batter's box and that Epstein might not look as smart if he had a smaller payroll to work with.

Over the weekend, Showalter backed off the remarks he said he made to the magazine a few months ago, telling Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York that the comments came from "envy and jealousy" of the Yankees and the Red Sox.

"It's one of those things you're sitting there having a casual conversation, the same conversation we've had all over baseball just about everyday," he said. "A lot of it is envy and jealousy. We want to get to their level. It's right there in front of us every day."

Even though I winced a little bit when I read his comments -- specifically the one about Epstein -- I can't knock Showalter for taking a couple of swings at rival teams. Down the stretch last season, that mentality of going for the other guys' throats resonated with the lifeless Orioles, who were tired of hearing about how they couldn't touch the big boys in AL East and actually did something about it.

Showalter had to eat crow for his comments this time. But his "Why not us?" attitude, if adopted by his players, should keep the Red Sox and the Yankees and the rest of the division from feasting on his Birds in 2011.

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