BALTIMORE — Sitting side by side in the auxiliary clubhouse at Camden Yards, Orioles general manager Mike Elias and new manager Brandon Hyde spoke excitedly Monday about working together to mold the struggling franchise into a winner again.
Hired last month to oversee a massive rebuilding project, Elias immediately set out to find a manager that could develop young, inexperienced players into solid major leaguers.
He settled on Hyde, the 45-year-old bench coach of the Chicago Cubs, who was named the 20th manager in Orioles history on Friday.
“He’s somebody that is viewed as an up and coming star in our business,” Elias said. “So I’m very happy that we landed him here.”
Elias came to Baltimore from Houston, where he helped turn the Astros from a perennial loser into a World Series champion. Hyde, similarly, was an integral part of the process that bolstered the Cubs from a rebuilding club into a world champion. This will be his first job as major league manager.
“We’ve come from two organizations that had some down years but all of a sudden got good real quick,” Hyde noted. “That’s going to be the process here, and we’re looking forward to getting that going.”
Elias said: “What stood out throughout the entire process for me, for us, were Brandon’s unique qualifications and experiences for this job. Being such a huge part of building the Cubs organization into a world champion and a playoff-caliber team was very attractive to me throughout this entire process.”
During a nine-year run with the Miami Marlins, Hyde served as a bench coach from June 2010 through the end of the 2011 season. In Chicago, he was bench coach in 2014, first base coach from 2015-17 and bench coach this year under the skilled and respected Joe Maddon.
“I’m a big Joe Maddon fan. I love Joe Maddon,” Hyde said. “What I’ve learned the most from him is consistency, how he is on a daily basis. He’s so positive. Always upbeat.”
Patience is going to be the key in Baltimore, where Elias and Hyde will be toiling in unison to turn around a team that finished 47-115 in 2018 - the most losses in franchise history.
“I think the approach and the personal characteristics that he’s going to bring to this job are ideal,” Elias said. “He is someone with a reputation and experience for connecting with players, communicating with players, empathizing with players, which is very important in today’s game. But he also has the same view that I have - that this is a partnership between the front office and the coaching staff. We are going to be working toward the same goals.”
Although he’s been entrenched in the National League for the past decade, Hyde knows all about the Orioles’ rich history. From the late 1960s through the team’s last World Series title in 1983, Baltimore was recognized as one of the best teams in the majors.
One of the standouts of that era, Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, sat in the front row during the news conference.
Asked what made Baltimore attractive to him, Hyde replied, “The rich tradition here. Brooks Robinson is sitting here. I’m in my new office, and there’s pictures of Earl Weaver and Cal Ripken Sr. I grew up a baseball rat. To be around history and be involved in a city like Baltimore, it’s a dream come true, to be in the American League East and going out and competing every night.”
Before he can assess the talent in the organization, Hyde must first assemble his coaching staff.
Then, it will be time to get down to business with Elias and former Astros analytics chief Sig Mejdal to rebuild the Orioles.
“That’s what attracted me here,” Hyde said. “Knowing what they did in Houston, their ability to acquire talent, their ability to draft. Then, hearing what they wanted from a major league manager, I thought it was a really, really good fit.”
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