The voters got it right this year. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde came up just shy of a Manager of the Year win in 2022. Here in 2023, he was revealed as a finalist again. When results were announced on Tuesday night, there was no surprise this time. Hyde is the 2023 AL Manager of the Year.
This was a runaway victory for Hyde, who was named as the first place choice on 27 of the 30 ballots submitted. There are two voters for each league city, and for Manager of the Year there are three slots per ballot with a 5-3-1 point system. Hyde was named on all 30 ballots, with three second place choices to go along with the 27 firsts. He beat out Texas’s Bruce Bochy and Tampa’s Kevin Cash, who had been revealed as the other top three finishers.
It is often, though not always, the case that the Manager of the Year goes out to the guy in charge of the team that most exceeded expectations in a given season. This pattern made it all the more surprising that Hyde did not win last year, when the Orioles obliterated every pundit and computer model that said they would lose 100+ games again to finish 83-79.
Heading into this year, the Orioles beat the expectations again, hitting the over on sportsbook win totals in the 76.5 range by mid-August. Even if you were an optimist about the 2023 Orioles, the idea of a 100+ win season - or even a 95+ win season - was surely beyond your imagination. The Orioles did this anyway, and they did this in a way that was plainly in excess of their on-paper talent.
Why shouldn’t Hyde get some credit from the BBWAA for that? They snubbed him last year and a different set of voters has made up for it a little bit this year. Unlike Gunnar Henderson’s Rookie of the Year win yesterday, there’s no tangible benefit to the Orioles for Hyde winning. It’s just cool for the manager of our favorite team to be recognized. It has to feel all the better for Hyde to have come through the rebuild years on the far side to have the 2023 season that the Orioles had.
Hyde is the fourth different Orioles manager to win the award, joining Frank Robinson (1989), Davey Johnson (1997), and Buck Showalter (2014). Congratulations to him. Expectations will surely be higher for the team next year, so hopefully the Orioles can keep on staying ahead of that.