SARASOTA, Fla. – Buck Showalter is comforted by having Chris Davis, Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters back. It’s their veteran leadership he admires.
“When you talk about people like that, it goes so far beyond his statistics and the contributions Darren makes. He’s got such a pure heart. He loves being a part of our team, and let’s face it, we’re down here to build a team, and Darren’s a part of that. He helps us build it by ways other than pitching, and that’s been pretty good,” O’Day said.
“I know he impacts this team and he makes other people better, and it’s not any egotistical thing. Darren’s the same guy who walked in here that day from Texas. You all know that. He doesn’t change, but he also understands the weight his words carry, and he doesn’t get malicious about it. He’s not coming here and saying: ‘now that I’ve got this x contract, I’ve got to do this more.’”
O’Day joined the Orioles in Nov. 2011 just before Dan Duquette took over. Showalter insisted the team take him.
“I think he has a lot of confidence in us, and we do in him. He’s going to have his moments, but he’s going to fight his through it. He sets a great example every day. This is how you get that type of commitment from us if you carry yourself like this. I haven’t seen any signs of him trying to do something different more, and that’s what I’ve told him, I just want you to carry on, carry on,” Showalter said.
Will Showalter give the same talk to Davis?
“I already have. Nobody can really, in some people’s eyes, live up to that commitment. Who can? I mean, statistically, somebody’s going to tear it down any way you look at it. We’re on him. We know what we’re getting, and we like it, and we’re glad it’s here. Chris already knows that. He knows that, but Chris is a pleaser,” Showalter said.
“He wants to do something good for the Orioles and the fans every time up and every play. It won’t work that way. That’s when the support group and the people around him come into play that keep a good grip on reality. There’s a lot of people who put a lot of expectations that’s unreachable. You just can’t. What you take what he did last year for the next seven? Of course you would.”
Showalter is aware of criticism that the Orioles overpaid for Davis, but tries to ignore it.
“I love how all these people start critiquing this and that, whatever. That’s fine. I’m happy with it. We’re happy with it, and Chris is happy with it, and I know his teammates are happy with it. So he and Darren and Matt, it continues to show the commitment of the organization to trying to retain those guys. It wasn’t that I doubted it. It’s always good to be able to say, the commitment he made here, long-term to see these other people return,” Showalter said.
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