PHILADELPHIA — This was Buck Showalter talking near the end of the 2018 season. Showalter had come into major league managing guiding a lousy Yankees team that went 76-86 in 1992, and anyone who watched that team thought it might’ve been the best managing job of Showalter’s career — somehow keeping a talent-challenged Yankees club clear of 100 losses.
He was weeks away from departing the gig, in the middle of one of the most unsightly seasons in recent memory, the Orioles on the way to 47-115 — and there were some who were sentenced to watch Baltimore every day who swore that with anyone else at the controls the O’s would’ve hit 125 losses and sent the ’62 Mets a permanent get-out-of-baseball-jail free card.
In between those two miseries, of course, he’d managed to win 1,428 games against but 1,316 losses. He’d managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Orioles to the postseason and even figured out a way to make the post-A-Rod Rangers winners one year (89-73) and respectable the next two (159-165).
At 62, he was comfortable being a sage, a skipper whisperer.
“Here’s the thing I learned as a young manager, and it’s the thing I see…