Showalter proud of his tenure as D-backs manager
Orioles skipper receives warm ovation in return to Chase Field
PHOENIX -- The last time Buck Showalter managed a game at Chase Field, it was Oct. 2, 2000, and he was finishing up his three-year tenure as the first skipper in the history of the D-backs.
Shortly thereafter, Showalter was dismissed, replaced by Bob Brenly, the Arizona club's current television analyst.
Under Brenly, the D-backs went on to win the World Series in 2001 and Showalter went on to manage in Texas and Baltimore, where he's now finishing his third full season.
Asked if he's a different manager now then he was back then, Showalter didn't quibble.
"God I hope so," he said, seated in the first-base-side visitors' dugout for the first time. "Are you any different now than when you were 12? We all learn from experiences and things that we go through. If I knew I was going to hurt that little girl's feelings, I wouldn't have pulled her pigtails in the third grade. You learn things.
"People say, "I'd never change a thing.' You never know how things are going to turn out. I was very proud of what I was allowed to be a part of [in Arizona]. It was special."
D-backs fans certainly haven't forgotten. They gave Showalter a warm ovation when he was introduced by the public address announcer after the Orioles scored a run in the top of the first inning. Leaning on the dugout railing, Showalter tipped his Orioles cap to the crowd.
The D-backs officially expanded into the National League in 1998 and Showalter managed their first 486 regular-season games, finishing 250-236, a .514 winning percentage. In their second season, the D-backs won 100 games and lost to the Mets in the first round of the 1999 playoffs.
Showalter praised the development of a facility called Bank One Ballpark in his day and the organization that hired him to build a team from scratch upon losing the managerial job after four seasons with the Yankees.
Showalter has been back for alumni ceremonies since then, but never to manage a game.
"It was a great experience," he said about those days. "It made you appreciate an organization and baseball. I was fortunate to have ownership that did some things to put us in position to be competitive quickly. They picked great people who came in and took it to the next level. They've made some really good decisions here along the way."
O's eyeing possible return of slugger Reynolds
PHOENIX -- The Indians placed Mark Reynolds on release waivers for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release on Monday, begging the question of whether he's on his way back to Baltimore.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter quipped before Monday night's game against the D-backs at Chase Field that his club could use a designated hitter.
"They said Matty [Williams] was talking BP for an alumni game or something else they got coming up," Showalter said, referring to Arizona's third-base coach and one of his players when he managed the D-backs from 1998 to 2000. "Better not take too much BP. We'll activate him. I wonder if he might come over here. We've got a DH spot over here. He can still hit, huh?"
In all seriousness, Reynolds might be a perfect fit. Reynolds played for the Orioles in 2011 and '12, hitting 23 homers and driving in 69 runs last season before signing a one-year, $6 million free-agent contract with the Indians during the offseason.
If Reynolds clears through waivers and is released, the Orioles would just be liable for a pro-rated portion of the minimum Major League salary.
"I'm leaving that in [general manager] Dan [Duquette's] hands," Showalter said. "We've talked about that a little bit, but that's still going through the process. I'm sure we'll have another conversation at some point."
Reynolds had a torrid April with a .310 batting average, eight homers and 22 RBIs. The corner infielder has slumped since then to such a degree that he was hitting .215 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs when the Indians designated him for assignment Thursday.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow@boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.