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5 takeaways from Hyde's press conference

December 17, 2018

BALTIMORE -- The first tangible step in building the Orioles back to contention was taken Friday, when the club tabbed Brandon Hyde as Buck Showalter's replacement at manager. There is still much work to be done, as Baltimore still needs to round out Hyde's coaching staff, finalize its Minor League

BALTIMORE -- The first tangible step in building the Orioles back to contention was taken Friday, when the club tabbed Brandon Hyde as Buck Showalter's replacement at manager. There is still much work to be done, as Baltimore still needs to round out Hyde's coaching staff, finalize its Minor League coaching assignments and make front office hires before turning its attention to the roster.
But for the first time in months, the O's have the pillars of their management framework in place. Here are five things we learned about the O's new skipper from his introductory press conference on Monday.
A closer look at 20th skipper in Baltimore history
The takeaway: Hyde's experience with the Cubs earned him the job.
What they said

"It wasn't a consideration as we entered the process, but once we talked to Brandon, it made me feel really good that he understood the scope of this, and that he'd been through this in the same way. To have that shared perspective is an asset, I think. It absolutely added a lot to his candidacy." -- Baltimore general manager Mike Elias
"The first thing [in Chicago] was bringing in passionate guys who like to coach, who like to get after it. Guys who wanted to be fully invested in the Cubs' way during that time, and we accomplished that. We got better quickly. We had some down years, but all of a sudden, got good real quick. That's going to be the process here, and we're looking forward to getting that going." -- Hyde

What it means
Working alongside Cubs manager Joe Maddon rarely hurts a coach's reputation or job qualifications. But it's clear the Orioles targeted Hyde for more than that -- specifically, what he did before joining Maddon's staff in Chicago in 2014. Here is where Elias and Hyde have something of a kinship: While Elias was planting the seeds for the Astros' rebuild, Hyde was overseeing a Cubs farm system that featured Javier Baez, Kristopher Bryant and others that would grow into key players for Chicago's 2016 World Series championship team. Like Elias, Hyde could point to a recent example where he'd seen a rebuild process through, where he'd been a part of the investment and the payoff. None of the O's other managerial finalists could say the same.

The takeaway: Though Hyde has been a part of rebuilds in the past, he's entering a completely new situation.
What they said
"I'm going to get as much video as possible of our roster. I'm going to get to know our guys, get on the phone, start the relationship process as early as possible." -- Hyde

What it means
Hyde has some significant catching up to do. Though the configuration will change substantially during his tenure, Hyde has little to no experience with any players in the O's system or on their big league roster. The lone exception is Andrew Cashner, whom Hyde coached in the Arizona Fall League in 2009. Hyde has spent his entire coaching career in the National League.
Hyde on managing Orioles: 'Dream come true'
The takeaway: Hyde's message will be positive.
What they said

"We're going to be patient, we're going to be positive. We're going to focus on competing every night, going to focus on getting better every single day. No promises made except that we'll play really, really hard, and play to win every single night." -- Hyde

What it means
Nobody involved has sugarcoated the fact that Baltimore's planned rebuild will take time. But it'll be one of Hyde's main jobs to try to catalyze it from the dugout as much as possible, and that means keeping players motivated throughout what could be some lean summers, wins-wise.

The takeaway: Hyde and Elias will work together very closely.
What they said

"He has the same view that I do; that this is a partnership between the front office and the coaching staff. We are going to be working toward the same goals, doing so in a collaborative, open manner where we're communicating constantly. To me, the connection that I felt personally in dealing with Brandon was very important as well." -- Elias

What it means
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Gone are the days when front offices and managers don't convene daily, when information doesn't flow freely to and from both sides. In fact, the most successful teams of the past decades have been the ones that best streamline the process. Elias and Hyde come from organizations of that ilk. It's only natural they'd look to bring a similar dynamic to Baltimore, where executive-manager discord was a common part of the past regime.

The takeaway: ... and that means heavy doses of analytics.
What they said
"Our job is to provide [Hyde] with the best information that we can. All we ask of him is he understands it and participates in the process of producing it. It's his job to then bring his brain and his gut and everything else to the moment-to-moment decisions." -- Elias

What it means
What Elias was lauded for helping the Astros do so well wasn't just incorporate numbers -- which every team in baseball does to large extents. What Houston perfected was the art of blending human elements into its statistical models and then using the results to fuel its player development, and eventually, in-game decision-making. Elias will look to do the same with the O's, so it made sense he'd land on a manager with experience digesting such information from the dugout.
Will Hyde have full autonomy over his lineups? No, but few managers do. Will he lean on data funneled into a dugout iPad? Yes -- few managers today are without theirs. It's important to remember most modern skippers see sabermetrics as an asset, not an impediment, to their autonomy. Hyde is no different.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.