Knee-Jerk Reactions: O’s Hire Brandon Hyde as Manager

Brandon Hyde of the Cubs.

The Orioles have hired their new manager. Brandon Hyde, most recently the Chicago Cubs’ bench coach, will take the reins in 2019. ESR staff react to the news here…

Derek Arnold

I won’t pretend to know a thing about Brandon Hyde. This hire has a much different feel, obviously, than did the hiring of Buck Showalter. That’s not necessarily a good or bad thing – it just is. The Showalter hire was exactly the type that was needed at the time: an established, successful, big-name manager to take over and try to reverse a decade-plus of losing baseball.

This hire, similarly, is just what this club needs: someone who’s been around not only a winning organization, but an organization that’s embraced the new ways of thinking about baseball. A manager who will speak the same language as Mike Elias and the entire new front office of the Baltimore Orioles.

The Elias-Hyde era has begun. I’m excited to watch these two get to work.

Andrew Stetka

Like when the Orioles hired Mike Elias, I’m not going to be pretend to be a Brandon Hyde expert. Everything I’ve read about the guy sounds positive. It seems like he is capable and knowledgeable about analytics and player development. All of that sounds swell. But truthfully, it wouldn’t have mattered much to me who the Orioles hired to be the skipper. The O’s are going to be bad for a while, and Hyde is going to wear those losses on his record. He’s a glorified sacrificial lamb who’s main job is guiding a bunch of young players through a rebuild. I would be surprised if he’s still the manager once the Birds start winning again, but crazier things have happened. I wish him luck and hope he “likes our guys” because he has a tough act to follow.”

Phil Backert

The Orioles continue to hire from successful organizations as they start their rebuild. Hyde has been with the Cubs since 2011 so he has been a part of a rebuild himself and he was a coach on the major league team when Chicago won the World Series in 2016. The biggest attraction for Hyde is his success in player development and as a manager in the minor leagues as he will need to reach back to that while dealing with a young roster over the next couple of seasons.

Joe DiBasilio

By all accounts the Os made another solid (non-player) signing. I know very little about Mr. Hyde, but it will be tough to gauge his effectiveness as manager as he likely oversees 300 losses in the next three seasons. I hope it works out and in five years from now we view the 2018-2019 off-season as the one that brought the Os out of the darkness. God speed Brandon.

Dillon Atkinson

Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias noted the most important factor in his managerial search was finding the right candidate with the “ability to lead and connect with players.” If he believes Hyde is the best candidate to fit that description, then I’m on board with the hiring.

I won’t act like I’ve been following Hyde throughout his career, so I can’t say I know for sure how this will work out. However, it’s encouraging to see his extensive background in professional baseball. He was a hitting coach in the then-Florida Marlins minor leagues for two seasons, then managed in the Marlins minors an additional five years from 2005-through-2009. After that, he spent 2010 and 2011 as a bench coach in the majors with the Marlins. From there, he became the Chicago Cubs director of player development for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, before being assigned to bench coach in 2014. Once Joe Maddon was hired to become the Cubs manager in 2015, Maddon kept Hyde on his staff as the team’s first-base coach for three years. Then, Maddon switched him back to bench coach for 2018 when Dave Martinez left the position to take the vacant managerial position with the Washington Nationals.

Just from looking at the variety of positions and roles Hyde has worked under in both the minors and major leagues, I do feel optimistic about this hire by Elias and the Orioles. I think a positive tidbit to keep in mind is that when Maddon was hired by the Cubs to start in 2015, everyone knew he was going to be bringing in bench coach Martinez, who was with Maddon in Tampa Bay. Instead of simply doing a direct replacement of Martinez for Hyde, Maddon made room and adjusted Hyde’s role to keep him on staff for all four years he’s been in Chicago.

Jonathan French

Mike Elias has made his second major personnel move in his rebuild of the Baltimore Orioles with the hiring of Brandon Hyde as the new manager. At first thought, it would have seemed this hire would be non-consequential for the future of the franchise due the immediate amount of losing that will occur; however, with Hyde’s credentials it would seem that he is the manager of both the present and future.

Hyde has a strong pedigree of managing and coaching in the minor and minor leagues with his last position being the bench coach under Joe Maddon of the Cubs. Unlike Buck Showalter, Hyde has a reputation for using analytics for his managing decisions and he is also a good communicator with players. He was a relatively hot commodity this offseason with the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays interviewing him for their vacancies. The Orioles were fortunate he did not get any of those positions, as he was arguably the best fit out of a little-known field of candidates.

It was a bit strange the way the story broke, but then again it wouldn’t be a major Orioles transaction without a hiccup. The mini-fiasco which included Elias denying a story that was literally being broke behind him by MLB Network, showed Elias has a bit of a learning curve when it comes to addressing rumors with the media.

However, that is all in the past as the Orioles have officially hired Hyde and the next era of Orioles baseball continues to take shape. Now the question is who will be part of the coaching staff? The Orioles were fortunate that there weren’t a lot of managerial openings this offseason, but many coaches have been already signed to contracts with other organizations. Former minor league pitching coordinator, John Wasdin has been rumored to be on the staff in some capacity, but Hyde and Elias will have a lot of work to do quickly to try to ensure that the best coaching staff possible is on the field and in the dugout on Opening Day.

Paul Valle

So far, the Orioles have made all the right moves. The hiring of Brandon Hyde to be the field manager is more evidence of that. Hyde has a history of managerial success at the minor league level, having managed at four different levels in the Marlins organization, culminating with the 2009 Southern League Championship with the Jacksonville Suns.

This is important because Hyde will have a huge part in developing the next wave of young talent to step for on the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Combine that with the tutelage he has received as a first base and bench coach for Joe Maddon with the Chicago Cubs the last few seasons, and the Orioles got the right guy for the job. Every young, rebuilding team needs a leader. Brandon Hyde is just that. And while he may not be around to see the fruits of his labor when the Orioles return to prominence (terms of the contract have not been disclosed as of Friday night), you can be sure that his finger prints will be all over the success of the ball club moving forward.

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