The Baltimore Orioles parted ways with manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette on Wednesday.
Showalter and Duquette each had contracts that were set to expire at the end of this month. Showalter met with Orioles ownership on Wednesday morning and was notified he wouldn’t return, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The Orioles announced they would hire an executive from outside the organization to lead the baseball operations department, and that person in turn would hire a new manager. Director of player development Brian Graham will handle the day-to-day duties of the group in the interim.
Baltimore experienced a dreadful 47-115 campaign this season to set the worst mark in franchise history.
“With the conclusion of the 2018 season, the club has decided to reorganize its Baseball Operations department under new executive management,” spokesman Greg Bader said in a statement on behalf of the team and its owners. “We thank Dan and Buck for their many contributions over the past several years.
“As we look forward to the next chapter of Orioles Baseball, we are grateful for the ongoing support of our fans. While this year has been a challenge, the organization is determined to grow and change in ways that will ultimately lead us back to the post season.”
Showalter, 62, managed the Orioles for parts of nine seasons, and his 669 wins with the franchise trail only Hall of Fame member Earl Weaver (1,480).
Duquette, 60, had been with Baltimore since 2011, after nine years away from Major League Baseball. He had served as general manager of the Boston Red Sox from 1994-2002.
Star shortstop Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton were traded away during the highly disappointing season.
Showalter was 669-684 during his tenure with the Orioles and guided the team to three playoff appearances. He was American League Manager of the Year in 2014, when Baltimore went 96-66 and reached the American League Championship Series before being swept by the Kansas City Royals.
Prior to Sunday’s season finale, Showalter indicated he wasn’t thrilled about entering a rebuilding phase.
“That’s one of the things I really feel like we need to get back to, the expectations of winning,” Showalter told reporters. “That’s part of it. You’ve got to have expectations of winning, regardless of whatever they call it nowadays — building.
“I don’t believe in rebuild, the word rebuild. The first thing you have to accomplish, and one of the things I tried to do when we I got here, is to raise the expectations of winning.”
Showalter has a 1,551-1,517 record in 20 seasons as a manager with the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000), Texas Rangers (2003-06) and Orioles (2010-18).
—Field Level Media