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Orioles deny reported hire of Brandon Hyde as next manager

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The Orioles found their man, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Then GM Mike Elias said that report is premature.

MLB: Chicago Cubs-Media Day Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For a few glorious minutes, the Orioles had a reported new manager. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal said on Tuesday night that the O’s next manager would be current Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde.

That would seem to settle that, except this is the Orioles we’re talking about, and it seems “Orioles weird” is still going to carry over into the tenure of GM Mike Elias. Orioles.com beat writer Joe Trezza described the atmosphere of Elias issuing a denial of the report even as the suite television was broadcasting MLB Network’s breaking news banner of the hire. This is straight out of a comedy script.

Elias called the Rosenthal report “premature” and also told the assembled reporters that he does not expect to complete the hire during the winter meetings. For the moment, we can all flash back to the reports two years ago that Dexter Fowler was definitely signing with the Orioles and the reality that it never happened.

Is this supposed Hyde hire the next thing along those lines? Elias directly denied having made an offer of the manager’s job to anyone. It’s weird.

The Orioles have been reported to be choosing from a pool of six candidates. The five other than Hyde are: former Indians/Nationals manager Manny Acta, Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell, Royals quality control coach Pedro Grifol, Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, and Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond.

Recent reporting has suggested the O’s would prefer someone with managing experience already. Tonight’s experience suggests that recent reporting may not amount to a hill of beans in this crazy, mixed-up world. It could also turn out that Hyde will still be the guy and it’s just not going to get finalized and announced until next week for whatever reason.

Hyde, 45, had a brief professional career from 1997-2001, never making it beyond A-ball for very long. From there, he found his way into the coaching ranks in the minor leagues, working his way up through the Marlins system as a manager from 2005-09. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman noted that Hyde’s resume also includes serving as a first base coach, bench coach, and farm director, and that he’s “known for strong communication skills.”

Let it not be said that there’s no excitement to be had with the Orioles this offseason. We’ve got the drama. Maybe soon we’ll have a manager, too.