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Is Buck Showalter the smartest man in baseball? That might sound like hyperbole, but not to former MLB first baseman Mark Teixeira.
“I think Buck Showalter is the smartest man in baseball, and that is not hyperbole,” Teixeira told The New York Post on Monday. “When you sit down and talk to Buck about the game, he is just so sharp looking at it from all different angles and his record speaks for itself and there is not a more prepared manager as well.
“You take his intelligence and his preparation and I think he’s a great manager. Just look at what he’s done with so many franchises, building them up from the bottom.”
Showalter, 65, is reportedly in the running for the Mets’ managerial opening, vacated after Luis Rojas’ option was declined on Oct. 4. Showalter, alongside Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, are the three finalists for the job. In 20 seasons as a manager for the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers and Orioles, Showalter has a 1,551-1,517 career managerial record, with five playoff appearances.
Teixeira played under Showalter with the Rangers from 2003-06. Texas didn’t make the playoffs in four seasons, but Teixeira still came away impressed with Showalter.
“Every manager says they have an open-door policy, but Buck truly does,” Teixeira said. “Buck is not somebody who will walk through the clubhouse all day long kind of bothering guys, but that door is open and any time you need something you go in there and talk to Buck and he’s going to do whatever it takes to make the team better.”