The Orioles found their manager after all, and it turns out to be the exact person who was reported on Tuesday night to be the next manager. The club announced officially on Friday afternoon that Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde will be the 20th manager in O’s history.
Hyde will be introduced in a press conference on Monday at noon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. As with the conference for the hire of GM Mike Elias, this will be broadcast on MASN, 105.7 in Baltimore, and online at Orioles.com and on several social media platforms. If the general manager press conference is any indication, the full video will eventually be posted to YouTube even if you don’t get to watch it live.
In the team’s press release announcing the hire, Elias had this to say about his manager:
After conducting an intensive search, I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball. Brandon’s deep background in player development and Major League coaching, most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a World Champion, has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process. I look forward to introducing him to our fans next week and to working together with him to build the next great Orioles team.
Hyde, 45, was the Cubs first base coach during their 2016 World Series title. He has also served in a variety of roles across the minors and majors, including several years coaching and managing in the Marlins organization and a one-game interim MLB stint that has him in the books as a prior MLB manager. Other jobs have included minor league infield coordinator (Marlins) and director of player development (Cubs).
Although only Elias and Hyde know for certain, the timing of the announcement combined with the earlier reports seems to suggest that they just wanted to wait until the winter meetings were over to confirm the reports and have a coordinated roll-out of the announcement.
It does not matter much in the grand scheme that Hyde did not get to participate in the ceremonial winter meetings photo of all MLB managers. He already has something to look forward to next December.
The O’s had been reported to be choosing from a pool of six candidates in this managerial search. Along with Hyde, reported names included: 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.
There were some early indications that the O’s might be looking for someone with more MLB manager’s experience. Acta, Hale, and Redmond had all been managers. It seems that Elias was more impressed with the experience that Hyde was able to acquire throughout the minors and in different MLB coaching/development jobs.
In Elias’s own introductory press conference, he sounded like he had a good idea of what he was looking for in a manager. The fact that he decided Hyde was the most impressive person is good enough for me to find this to be an exciting hire.
Whether this means all that much for the fortunes of the 2019 Orioles is another story. A new GM and a new manager stuck with mostly the same roster, minus departing free agents, can’t fix a 47-115 squad on their own. Hopefully it’s a sign that the O’s can start getting more out of their young players and offer some encouragement that things will eventually get better.