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Inside Baltimore Oriole Baseball Nirvana — the Award for the Best Communication by a Manager to: Buck Showalter

 
–Richard E. Vatz

   The Orioles just won their Division championship for the first time since 1997.  

     Lord, you’ve got to love it and them…Markakis, Miller, Hardy, Jones, Britton, Hunter, Cruz, Pierce, Chen, Schoop, Flaherty, O’Day, Britton, Tillman, Gonzalez, Norris, Gausman, Joseph, Hundley and I’ve left out some great ones, including the injured-absent Wieters and Machado, but those above are the ones whose year I treasure the most.

     But my expertise is persuasive communication, and I believe in the expression, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

     Let me announce in print as I did orally on C-4’s WBAL talk show and discussed previously on last Saturday’s “Jimmy Mathis Show,” the 2014 Vatzian Award for Major League Baseball’s Press Conference Excellence (VAMLBPCE).

     A little background – very little indeed.  I have always noted rhetorical excellence in sports’ press conferences, especially after the worst such press conference in history, Jim Mora’s self-indulgent humiliating trashing of his Indianapolis Colts on November 25, 2001: “Playoffs?  You kidding me?  Playoffs?  I just hope we can win a game – another game.”

     On Jimmy Mathis’ show last Saturday, I said that I was just tremendously impressed by Buck Showalter’s interviewing excellence…his style is unique:

     Thus, the VAMLBPCE  goes to the Baltimore Orioles’ Buck Showalter.  Some of the evidence:

n  Buck is contemplative and material in his responses to questions; he actually thinks before responding.  Does any other manager or coach do that?

n  Buck never gets ahead of himself and is never overeager – pleased, but we have more to do

n  Great values – on the self-destructive Chris Davis, no personal attack, no vindictiveness, just a statement of principle: “This is self-inflicted…everybody’s got a no button and a yes button: everybody knows what the rules are.”

n  Buck always controls the agenda – in the middle of an interview, he’ll make off-topic but fascinating observations, apropos of no question: “Did you see how Flaherty made sure that he got that one out when he could have risked the game by going for a really difficult double-play?

     What great conservative values.

     For months I have been telling everyone who listens that Buck Showalter is the best interview baseball has to offer. 

     Interesting, responsive, bringing up fascinating, informed, parenthetical observations.

     Congratulations, Buck Showalter, on winning the 2014 Vatzian Award for Major League Baseball’s Press Conference Excellence.

     Your check is in the mail.

 

Professor Vatz is the author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt 2013)





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