Improved O's still don't compare with Weaver era

April 18, 2011

There's been mention lately as to how some believe Buck Showalter reminds them of Earl Weaver in posture, nuances, physical characteristics, etc. I will agree with others that he is an excellent manager. There is one glaring difference that differentiates Weaver from Showalter: team talent.

Even with their acquisition of some very talented players, the present-day Birds cannot compare with Weaver's talent-rich teams. In the '60s and '70s he had three future Hall of Famers. He had the best defensive center fielder and shortstop of that era. He had four 20-game winners in one year, an achievement that will never be accomplished again in Major League Baseball.

Players from Weaver's tenure had an abiding sense of loyalty to the team, with emphasis on the concept of "team." Modern-day players are for the most part motivated by gluttonous contracts. We need to look no further than "local boy" Mark Teixeira signing with the Evil Empire for confirmation of that.

I personally feel for Buck. Although I believe he ranks in the upper echelon of today's managers, I also believe the Orioles are still a few years away from being a consistent pennant contender once again. What we witnessed with Weaver's Orioles will never be replicated. Time has a tendency to diminish one's recollections of the accomplishments of Weaver's charges. God forbid if we look back and take for granted the enormity of the greatness of those teams.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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