I asked this question last year and with all the discussion about firing the manager, I ask it again. How many wins will a manager give a team over the year? If I recall from last year, it wasn't very many games. So I ask, in comparison **, last year Buck Showalter came to Washington midseason and they ran off a quick winning streak at first, but then ended the season at 69-93, last in the AL East. This year, predicted by the experts to do very little, they are in a pennant race with the Yankees. They are 28-8 in 1 run games, 12-2 in extra innings, and they are 61-0 when leading after 7 innings. This from a team that is 17th in the majors in runs scored, only 44 stolen bases, 23rd in OBP, their pitchers ranks 21st in strikeouts and a 4.01 ERA. Yes they are 2nd in HRs but with all due respect, we hear on this website that pitchers need to miss bats and batters need to get on base, etc, but how are the O's doing it and why haven't the Pirates been able to maintain it the second half? How does Buck get the most out of young O's players. I see alot of similarites with this team and the Pirates. Does a manager make this much of a difference or do some managers have the abiltity to take a bad team and teach it to be a good team, in a short amount of time? Buck has done this with the Yankees, Arizona, and now Baltimore. Is it really just a magic touch? Thanks for your comments.
** I found these comparisons and additional stats of the Buck's O's vs. the Yankess on Sean Harnett's article "Buck Showalter giving the O's the Magic Touch"