Showalter's chances in Manager of Year voting

If you play Japanese Fantasy Baseball, former Orioles pitcher Hayden Penn remains eligible for your draft. He re-signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines.

Penn was victimized by more bizarre physical setbacks than any player I've covered. Three immediately come to mind: Sprained ankle while carrying boxes down steps at spring training, appendectomy, impaled by piece of broken bat.

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He wasn't attacked by sharks on Fort Lauderdale Beach, so his luck occasionally changed for the better.

Does anyone else wonder why Leo Mazzone can't get back into baseball?

I mean, it's not like jobs haven't opened up the last few years. Did his reputation take that big of a hit in Baltimore? Will Sam Perlozzo have to land another managing gig?

Major League Baseball will announce its Manager of the Year for both leagues. I'd expect Ron Washington to take the AL award, followed by Ron Gardenhire and Joe Maddon. Does that sound right? Or maybe Gardenhire gets the nod after losing Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan.

Terry Francona won't win it, but he might have done his finest managing job by keeping the Red Sox in contention despite all those injuries.

I've been asked about Buck Showalter's chances. There's no way that he brings home the hardware, but I'll be curious to see whether he collects a few third-place votes.

The Orioles went 34-23 under Showalter, including 11-6-1 in their 18 series. They won four of their first 34 series before he arrived. They were 14-13 vs. the AL East after going 10-35 under Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel.

Showalter inherited something so bad, it needed to improve just to qualify as a mess.

The Orioles were 32-73 when he took over on Aug. 3. The first pick in next June's draft was a lock.

Way to ruin it, Buck.

Showalter became the first manager in major league history to win at least seven of his first eight games after taking over a club in midseason that was at least 20 games under .500.

Has to count for something, right? Like maybe a few third-place votes.

And in conclusion: I wrote last year about Dana Hoiles, wife of former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles, designing sports-themed jewelry. Here's a story that's currently running in STYLE magazine.

Chris is still the most famous member of the family, but Dana's gaining fast.

Maybe one of them could join the coaching staff.

(I couldn't file an entry without mentioning the coaches. I...just...couldn't.)

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