ST. PETERSBURG, FL – APRIL 7: Buck Showalter #26 manager of the Baltimore Orioles watches the action in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 7, 2015 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Buck Showalter

On Wednesday, MLB Network Presents returns with the first of two features this week. The first film is entitled Buck Showalter: A Life in Baseball, and is a deep dive into highly-respected Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

The film is narrated by Bob Costas, and features an in-depth interview between Costas and Showalter. The pair talk about Showalter growing up (he might have become a groundskeeper if he didn’t get involved in baseball), his collegiate career, and his beginnings as a coach and a manager.

While the documentary doesn’t touch on every moment of Showalter’s career, it does discuss his tenure as a coach and manager in the Yankees organization, his mindset when his Orioles faced Derek Jeter in his last game at Yankee Stadium, his current managing style, the difference between managing in the AL and NL, and his attempts to blend old school and new school philosophies.

Showalter also touches on his career of futility in the Postseason. He won his first playoff series last season with the Orioles after being thumped in the Division Series three different times. This section of the film is particularly insightful, as a particularly miffed Showalter expands on the different managing styles required throughout the year and in October.

Something I found interesting about this documentary was the lack of outside interviews. Normally in films like this, the focus is taken off of the subject as other people get plenty of screen time. In this one, the only people other than Showalter and Costas to be featured are former Yankees GM Gene Michael, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, and Showalter’s wife Angela. Do we really need to hear from a parade of players, coaches, and executives? Hearing Showalter talk about himself and his experiences is a bit more interesting to me than hearing other people (that may not be all that close to him) describing his life.

All in all, it’s another solid effort from MLB Network. Most of their MLB Network Presents features have at least been “good”, and this one isn’t an exception to that rule. Hopefully, we’ll get more of these features once we enter the offseason because baseball fans could definitely use more original films like this series has produced.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.

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