Get to know new Orioles manager Brandon Hyde
This offseason hasn't just been about player movement -- six new skippers have been hired since the end of the 2018 regular season. The most recent move came on Monday, when the Orioles announced Brandon Hyde as the 20th manager in franchise history.
Hyde may have not been the biggest name on the managerial market, but he does have significant experience in the coaching ranks. Here's what you need to know about the Orioles' new manager:
He has managed before -- in the Minor Leagues
After his playing career, Hyde got his first coaching job in the Marlins organization as a Minor League hitting coach in 2003. In 2005, as a 31-year-old, he got his first Minor League manager gig with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League. He managed several Minor League clubs in the Marlins organization over the next four seasons, and even led the 2009 Jacksonville Suns -- a club featuring a 19-year-old top prospect then-named Mike Stanton -- to a Southern League championship.
He was the first-base coach for the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs
Hyde joined the Cubs organization as a bench coach in 2013 but was moved to first-base coach before the 2015 season when Joe Maddon came aboard as manager. There is no shortage of photos of Hyde celebrating the Cubs' epic, curse-breaking Game 7 victory over the Indians.
He never played in the big leagues
For much of baseball history, it was essentially a prerequisite for aspiring MLB managers to have also actually played in the Majors at some point in their career. However, that trend has fallen off recently, with Hyde becoming the fourth active manager to have not made it to the highest level, joining Braves manager Brian Snitker, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, and his former colleague in the Cubs dugout, Joe Maddon. Hyde wouldn't make the managers-as-players team with the likes of Don Mattingly and Craig Counsell, but he does have some playing experience ...
He did play in the Minors, though -- with some famous teammates
Hyde was a catcher at Long Beach State but went undrafted following his senior season in 1997. He signed with the White Sox shortly after the Draft and played three seasons in their organization, even reaching Triple-A Charlotte for nine games during the 2000 season. In 1999, Hyde played for the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League alongside a 20-year-old left-hander making his professional debut: Mark Buehrle. A year later with the Winston-Salem Dash, Hyde was teammates with a 21-year-old Jon Rauch, just a couple years before the latter became the tallest player in MLB history.
His last year as a player was with the Chico Heat in the independent Western League
After being released by the White Sox following the 2000 season, Hyde joined the Heat in 2001. If you think the "Chico Heat" is a cool baseball team name, you'll love some of their competitors in the now-defunct Western League: the Yuma Bullfrogs, the Solano Steelheads and the St. George Pioneerzz. The Pioneerzz!
He's the first-ever MLB manager named Brandon
Brandon wasn't a popular baby name at all in the United States until the 1970s (Hyde was born in 1973), so this isn't all that surprising. Nevertheless, Hyde has still blazed a trail for future Brandons with dreams of managing a big league team. Perhaps recently retired Brandon McCarthy has some interest.