When anyone talks about the Baltimore Orioles’ chances for success in the American League East this coming season, they’re bound to mention the team’s new manager Buck Showalter.  Since coming aboard in the second half of last season, the Orioles played close to .600 ball.  Of course 29 of his 57 games at the helm were in September and October when rosters are expanded and focus shifts from trying to win baseball games to trying to get some young guys a taste of big league baseball, but the Orioles record is still impressive, especially considering that the team had to play the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees 21 times after Showalter took over.

But will the former Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers manager be able to guide his team to the same level of play this year that they finished out last year?  Probably not, but at least it might be entertaining.

In an interview with Men’s Journal, Baltimore’s skipper had this to say about some of his AL East rivals:

I’d like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay (Rays’) payroll. You got Carl Crawford ’cause you paid more than anyone else, and that’s what makes you smarter? That’s why I like whipping their butt. It’s great, knowing those guys with the $205 million payroll are saying, ‘How the hell are they beating us?’

The first time we went to Yankee Stadium, I screamed at Derek Jeter from the dugout. Our guys are thinking, ‘Wow, he’s screaming at Derek Jeter.’ Well, he’s always jumping back from balls just off the plate. I know how many calls that team gets – and yes, he [ticks] me off.

Yeah, because I’m sure Showalter didn’t benefit one bit from anything like payroll while he was manager of the 1992 – 1995 New York Yankees.  And I’m also certain that no one ever yells at Derek Jeter during a baseball game.

And The Rest

After the news that Brandon Morrow will start the season on the Disabled List, it’s quite possible that Aaron Hill might have to as well.  If only the Jays had a capable back up second baseman.

David Schoenfield takes the reins at ESPN’s Sweet Spot Blog.

Oliver Perez’s unemployment didn’t last nearly as long as his numbers would’ve suggested.  Good luck, Nationals.

Brian Wilson’s plan to be ready for opening day may have been a little bit optimistic.

The latest attack on the Moneyball approach gets reviewed.

Clemens and Bonds lack the integrity to get into the Hall of Fame.  The integrity that’s already so well represented by Ty Cobb and others.

Speaking of which, Rick Ankiel is close to having won a starting outfielder’s job with Washington.

Do home teams have an advantage?

The Seattle Mariners are opening themselves up to jokes with their latest promotion.

Atlanta coach Luis Salazar, who lost one of his eyes after getting hit by a line drive, returned to Braves camp yesterday.

The only way a disabled man who is fined for singing would not get my sympathy is if he was a Phillies fan.

Joba Chamberlain is bringing the heat this Spring.

We talked about some of the rules for buying and wearing jerseys yesterday.  I didn’t think I even had to mention that you never wear a full uniform to the ballpark, but Yankees commentator Michael Kay is proving me wrong.

Deadspin looks at a modern day athlete from a bygone era.

Tiger Woods vouches for John Smoltz’s golf game.

HardBall Talk’s Craig Calcaterra brings us the latest from the Bonds trial, but he somehow missed this development captured by Jimmy Kimmel: