I do not like Buck Showalter so last night I got a lot of sick pleasure out of watching Buck fuck up. As we know by now, Buck Showalter made the absolutely asinine decision not to put Zach Britton in the Wildcard playoff game last night. Zach Britton is not only the hands down best reliever in baseball, but he is also the best pitcher on the Orioles and possibly a Cy Young winner. Buck opted not to use Britton in what will be deemed one of the worst managerial moves (or lack of move) of all time in a big game.
What’s even more perplexing is that Britton wasn’t even getting warmed up. He was not up in the pen so even if they O’s got in trouble (which they did) he would not be able to come right into the game. In that type of a game, you know, when your season and World Series hopes are on the line, your best pitcher better fucking to be ready to go on a second’s notice. It’s befuddling, really. The only thing I can even think of comparing it to is when I’m playing MLB The Show and forget to warm up my closer. But even then I stall the game so that Carter Capps can be fully warmed up.
So the question now is, why? Why wouldn’t Buck go to Zach Britton, who has video game-like numbers (finished the season with a ridiculous 0.54 ERA and 0.81 WHIP)? I will listen to an argument against putting him in the 9th. I get him not starting the 9th. Personally, I would have started him in the 9th, but I understand that argument. I do not understand not going to him in the 9th after the first hit. And it is absolutely beyond everyone why he wasn’t ready to go when Ubaldo fucking Jimenez was in the game in the 11th.
Buck’s reasoning was that he was an “option.” Your best pitcher shouldn’t be an “option” in the most important game of the season. Your best pitcher should be the option. Buck’s reasoning for putting Ubaldo in was that he had been pitching great lately – which is true, but after that first hit, and given that Jimenez has been absolute dogshit (with the exception of this past month) for just about his entire Oriole career, you gotta fucking have your guy ready to go.
Maybe, perhaps, Buck was punishing the Baltimore Orioles fans who finished 20th in the majors in attendance this season. Maybe he thought “well you know what? If THEY don’t care then I’LL SHOW THEM!” Maybe looking up in the stands at the end of September and seeing like 220 fans in the stands for a huge four game series against the Red Sox was the final straw. This was how Buck would get back at the “fans.” Maybe that’s why the Orioles can’t have nice things.
The other option is that Buck legitimately forgot Zach Britton was on the roster. That’s literally the only other reason why he didn’t put Britton in the game. After the game when reporters asked him why he didn’t put Britton in, he was probably like, “Ohh shit, I knew I forgot something. That’s right, I forgot I have that one guy that mows everyone down. Shit, how am I going to play this one off!?”
I think Showalter’s only play here is to come out and say he has a brain tumor and that it causes memory loss or something. I truly think that’s the only way he can regain any sort of favor from Baltimore. If he came out today and said, “I have a brain tumor and it makes me forget things” – people will immediately forgive him and not call him a dumbass again. Or maybe like next week, he could have his publicist release something saying he’s suffering from early-onset dementia. That’s relatively believable too and he’d get a lot of sympathy.
And let me just say that I don’t hope Buck Showalter has a brain tumor, nor do I hope he has early-onset dementia. Of course, I hope this isn’t true because it’s never good to see people suffer, but I also want this to be not true because then it means that he truly just fucked up and is an idiot which makes me very very happy.