Baltimore Orioles: Brandon Hyde says all the right things in introduction
The Baltimore Orioles officially introduced their new manager, Brandon Hyde, in a press conference on Monday morning
Brandon Hyde is officially the 20th manager in Baltimore Orioles history. In an offseason that’s been mostly muted in Baltimore, at least as far as the hot stove season goes, the Orioles have taken several steps forward in what will be the first year of their rebuild.
Winning offseason press conferences may not seem like much, but for this Orioles team and its fanbase, which just suffered through one of the worst seasons in baseball history, it’s a very encouraging sign to see the Orioles consistently making smart baseball decisions while restructuring their front office.
Brandon Hyde has been lauded as an up and coming presence in the baseball world; Braves manager Brian Snitker had nothing but good things to say about Hyde during the winter meetings and Elias alluded to the fact that Hyde’s name was the first to come up in several conversations had when Elias was building his initial managerial candidate list.
During yesterday’s introduction, Elias spoke highly of Hyde, calling him the “leader of the next era of Orioles baseball”, and spoke about how Hyde’s qualifications and background in player development, and his major league coaching experience, helped him stand out as a candidate.
Of his expectations, Hyde spoke about his vision for a functioning partnership between the manager and the front office and his intent to help build a collaborative, open relationship between the two.
For the most part, Buck Showalter was great in Baltimore but it’ll be a nice change if Hyde and Elias are truly able to build a communicative, productive relationship between the field staff and players, and the front office; the Orioles desperately need it.
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Hyde said his main focus in Baltimore will be on player development at the major league level, stating his intent to help the Orioles take consistent steps forward and improve on a daily basis.
Under Dan Duquette and Brian Graham, the Orioles graduated many players to the major leagues, but very few of them lived up to their prospect status, and none of them became superstars. Player development is an area in which the Orioles can make massive improvements, which in turn will help get them back on par with the Red Sox and Yankees in the AL East.
Hyde came across as optimistic and positive, and it’s hard not to feel the same way as an Orioles fan right now, despite them coming off the worst season in franchise history. It’ll take some time for the Orioles to put themselves back together, but Hyde alluded to how if everything goes right, rebuilding teams can find themselves in the thick of things more quickly than anticipated.
Hyde compared his hire in Baltimore to stepping into the role of bench coach with the Cubs in 2012. The early 2010’s Cubs teams weren’t great, but Theo Epstein was able to turn the ship around within five years and create one of the most efficient and effective front offices in the major leagues.
Hyde and Elias will aim to do the same in Baltimore. Neither provided a timetable for the club to return to competitiveness in the AL East, as expected, but if everything goes right, the Orioles could be competing for division titles within a five year window.
Next up for the Orioles front office is to fill out the remainder of the major league coaching staff. Being that it’s mid-December, it could prove to be a bit tougher than the standard front office search but the Orioles will find people they like and capitalize.