ST. PETERSBURG -- The Bowie Baysox, the Orioles' Double-A affiliate, secured the first Eastern League championship in the team's 23-season history on Saturday night, and it wasn't lost on the big league club.
"I was getting updates during our game," O's manager Buck Showalter said of Bowie's 7-2 victory over Reading at Prince George's Stadium. "You thought I was calling video replay. I tried to give [manager] Gary [Kendall] a lot of time [to celebrate]. Fortunately I've been in a little bit of that. I'm sure they were partaking of what [beverages were] left over that they didn't have to send over to Reading."
Kendall and the Baysox, who found themselves in a 2-1 series hole in the best-of-five set, were actually asked by Reading prior to Game 4 if they could send over the celebratory drinks. The confidence didn't sit well with the home club, who won, 9-1, on Friday to force a decisive Game 5.
"I think learning how to win and what makes you win games is an important part of development," Showalter said. "A lot of organizations, you hear them say when they don't win, 'Well, we're developing players.' And when they do win, they say, 'That's part of development,' so it's kind of a convenient thing. I think they go hand in hand. There are certain things during the season that you may sacrifice your best chance to win a game to develop players. That never takes a back seat, but you can do both."
Showalter praised the work Kendall has done in developing some of the Orioles' young players, including current infielders Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop.
"And I like the fact that [Trey] Mancini was real selective in the playoffs. He walked a lot because they were obviously pitching around him most of the series," Showalter said of Mancini, who has had a breakout year and is expected to be named the Orioles' Minor League Player of the Year. "And they did it with a 20-year-old catcher who hadn't had much time in Double-A in Chance [Sisco]. And [outfielder Quincy] Latimore really was a rock for them."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.