886 career wins and multiple Seinfeld guest appearances have turned
Buck Showalter into one of baseball's more visible managers.
But did you know the newly-installed Baltimore Orioles skipper also has a
long-simmering feud with Keith Olbermann that goes back nearly two
decades? It's true.
On his MLB.com blog, Olbermann dates the animosity dates back to 1993, when he was still anchoring "Sportscenter" and Showalter was in his second year managing the Yankees. After a particularly devastating loss, Olbermann describes going down to the Yankee locker room to interview the players. Only there weren't any players. It was empty, Showalter explained, because the team (especially veterans Paul O'Neill and Wade Boggs) knew Olbermann would be in attendance and he feared somebody would "take a swing" at the ESPN personality.
Olbermann left the Bronx that day quickly and without incident. But the strangeness of the incident stuck with him. He continues:
At the ESPY Awards of, I guess, 1997, I was more than a little worried as I saw a door open and several Yankees step out. As I tried to look shorter, the outfielder extended a had: "Keith! Paul O'Neill. Big fan!" I rushed through my thanks to tell him the Showalter story. "What? That was you? Nobody was avoiding you. Buck ordered us into the trainers' room. 25 guys in there like sar-blanking-dines! All he told us was there was a reporter he hated and he wanted to air out and we needed to stay put till he let us back in the clubhouse." Several beverages and second-hand Showalter stories later O'Neill brought it back up again. "You ever heard of me hitting some BODY? All I do is hit water coolers. That Buck!"