SARASOTA - Jimmy Johnson, the legendary football coach, once told ABC 7's Don Brennan that he didn't worry about the players they didn't have anymore, he was only concerned with the ones he did have. Orioles manager Buck Showalter is in a similar position this season.
The Orioles lost a few key players from last year's playoff team that won 93 games, but as Showalter says, they will have Nick Markakis back from injury, Nolan Reimold too, who missed almost the whole season, and Manny Machado played only 51 games, so this is like 3 good players added to your team. "It’s very evident all season that we have faith in these guys. We like the way our off-season is going. Just the additions we made to the roster from health alone."
Machado becoming a regular 3rd baseman in August solidified 2 positions, as Mark Reynolds moved to first and played stellar defense. And now Manny will be there from the start after hitting 7 home runs with 26 RBI in less than 200 at-bats. "I'm enjoying it, my first time with the big league camp, being with the team in spring training. I'm having lots of fun out here…it’s awesome to be a part of this team and this organization," says Machado.
Add these players to a roster containing Adam Jones, Matt Weiters, Gold Glovers up the middle, and 93 wins is not out of the realm of possibilities again. "We don't need to do anything different. We just need to keep doing what got us there and maintain that. It’s good to have most of the fellows back, but we have some new guys that are going to help us out in big ways," says Jones.