The two-time AL Manager of the Year had a 286--269 record through Sunday in five seasons with the Orioles. A Yankees farmhand, Showalter, 57, was the Bombers' skipper when Derek Jeter made his debut, in 1995.
DAN PATRICK:If I was a reliever, what could I say to you on the mound to let me stay in the game?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Probably nothing.
DP:What if I cry?
BS: As I'm getting older, I'm getting pretty emotional, so that might do the trick. But then I'd cry after you gave up that bomb.
DP:What are your thoughts on Derek Jeter retiring?
BS: Thank you, goodbye.
DP:What's the meanest thing you would say about Jeter?
BS: I wouldn't [say anything mean].
DP:Did you ever yell at Jeter when you managed him?
BS: No. He had alert eyes. I remember he was aware of everything around him. I knew a lot of things that challenge other players in New York were not going to challenge him. He didn't take himself too seriously, but he took the right things seriously.
DP:But Jeter had a lot of errors when he was young.
BS: Oh, yeah. He had an issue where he'd drop his back foot back [before throwing] because he had more time in high school. But he worked on it. Between innings, when they're throwing around ground balls, every once in a while he'll kind of drop-step. I think he's doing it just to tweak me.
DP:How would you manage Yasiel Puig?
BS: [Dodgers manager] Donnie [Mattingly] and I have talked about it a little bit. There are certain things you don't waste your time with. He's an extremely talented guy. He's worth trying to figure out.
DP:Is Puig too talented for his own good?
BS: Maybe, [but] as a manager you want that challenge. I always want to give our scouts and front office the confidence to take that player who may need to be managed.
DP:It's the 25th anniversary of the movie Major League. Was that a good baseball movie?
BS: Good to average.
DP: Bull Durham?
BS: Above average.
DP:Just above average?
BS: I want to see one that is really realistic.
DP:Is it that minor league fans don't all look like Susan Sarandon?
BS: I probably wouldn't be here if they did.
DP:Did you have groupies in the minors?
BS: Not that I can remember—or tell you about.
DP:Do women attach themselves to minor leaguers hoping they'll make it to the Show?
BS: That's why no one attached themselves to me. When I saw Mattingly and Steve Balboni, I knew I wasn't going to be the first baseman of the Yankees.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told me the league wasn't experimenting with sleeved jerseys for advertising purposes: "We were selling them because there were large segments of our older male population of fans—I'll include myself—who weren't going to walk around in tank tops." ... Former Kentucky star Rex Chapman caused a stir by tweeting that he heard coach John Calipari was going to the Lakers. "I treat Twitter like I'm talking to my friends," Chapman told me. "I'm not a journalist. I'm not going to refrain from giving information that I hear just because it might upset people." ... John Daly explained why his game has fallen off in recent years. "It's a fear of fear," Daly said. "You fear playing bad golf, and you fear the result. You don't play golf that way. The result shouldn't mean anything if you have confidence in your game."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (SHOWALTER)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SILVER)
JAMES CRISP/AP (CHAPMAN)
DAVID WALBERG FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (DALY)