You know the story already. A projection system predicts that the Baltimore Orioles will win 78 games and they win 96. The next closest team in the AL East is 12 games behind.
Why have the O’s been able to out-perform their projections over the last three seasons? In a Q&A with FanGraphs.com, Orioles VP of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson gave all the credit to Buck Showalter.
“We have a manager who is a master of managing his bullpen, and a master manager in general. I could go on for quite some time explaining Buck’s uniqueness in the game, starting from his incredibly young start as a manager in the minor leagues. His experience is massive, and combined with his intelligence and obsessive desire to be prepared, it’s easy to see the edge he provides. He’s strategic and tactical. He knows not only what to do when situations arise, he knows how to maneuver the game in a way which makes the match ups he desires more likely.