The past several seasons in Baltimore have been anything but successful. Sure, the Orioles have given fans their fair share of congenial moments, but overall the W-L record has ultimately overshadowed most of the warm fuzzies in Charm City. 2022 (lockout-pending) won’t bring a ton of difference. Yes, some high profile prospects are on their way, but the O’s faithful will still need to treasure hunt for silver linings and feel-good stories just to buoy any marginal improvements in the overall success of the team on the field. If you’re tired of forcing yourself to look at everything but the standings, or only looking forward to about six at-bats a game, let me offer you an alternate, and much more important focal point this season:
Everything Brandon Hyde does.
To this point Skip has been given the benefit of the doubt during his managerial stint in Baltimore. The talent level at the major leagues has been sparse and mostly unacceptable.
That being said, we should really start to look at how Hyde manages the resources he does have, instead of only demanding he be given more.
You’ll find different opinions, but Hyde has made his share of questionable decisions during this rebuild. Whether his mistakes have been inexperience, experimentation or just exasperation, they give us a look into his overall mindset and coaching philosophies.
All of which will carry into the competitive years ahead. How does he run a pen? A rotation? How does he protect the middle of the order? Is his aggression calculated or just for the sake of being aggressive? How does he lead men?
Regardless of the wins and losses, there will be moments where Hyde gives us insight into answering how far he can take a small-market team.
If you’re like me, these moments will be infinitely more interesting than rooting for another top draft pick. Talent will come and go, but culture lasts. Culture is what can make teams great.
Hyde has had more than enough time to lay the cultural foundations to make this team his own.
Now it’s time to see if he can live up to baseball in Baltimore.