Hyde, Schumaker named Managers of Year after stunning turnarounds

November 15th, 2023

Entering the 2023 season, the Marlins had not posted a winning record in a full season since 2009. The Orioles, meanwhile, were coming off their first winning season since 2016 -- but no team had lost more games from 2017-22.

Yet with both clubs making a postseason run in 2023 -- a bit ahead of schedule by most projections -- Miami’s Skip Schumaker and Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde were rewarded with the National League and American League Manager of the Year Awards, respectively, on Tuesday night.

While Schumaker and Hyde steered their teams to similar results, they took very different paths to winning the prestigious honor from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

In just his first year as a big league manager, Schumaker led the Marlins to a 15-win improvement and their first postseason appearance in a full season since 2003. Schumaker is the eighth skipper to win the honor in his first year with a club -- and the first since Rocco Baldelli (2019 Twins).

“I just believe that the staff around me created this culture, and to have really good players who bought in early on,” Schumaker said. “ ... I just feel like all these guys deserved this award, not just me.”

As for Hyde’s first year as Baltimore’s manager, he went just 54-108 in 2019. He endured a .341 winning percentage (131-253) from 2019-21 before leading the O’s to a 31-win improvement from 2021-22.

The Orioles made another 18-win jump in 2023, finishing 101-61 to win their first AL East title since 2014 -- and just their second in the past 26 seasons.

“I'm so fortunate for the coaching staff I have and how positive they are, and how they helped me along the way and made me better,” Hyde said. “Along with that, too, the patience that [general manager Mike Elias] and the front office have shown to me. They were more patient than me -- I've said that lot -- through those tough few years.”

Hyde received 27 of 30 first-place votes to beat out fellow AL finalists Bruce Bochy (Rangers) and Kevin Cash (Rays). On the NL side, Schumaker narrowly edged out Craig Counsell (Brewers) and Brian Snitker (Braves) in a race that featured six skippers receiving at least one first-place vote.

Schumaker, who won a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 2011 as a player, spent the first eight seasons of his 11-year big league career in St. Louis. The first seven of those years came under Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, a four-time Manager of the Year Award winner.

"Everything I know I learned from somebody, and the majority of that is Tony La Russa,” Schumaker said. “You don't get a chance to pick who you get drafted by, and luckily I was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. I got to learn right away what a winning, sustainable culture looked like. And I grew up as a man -- and as a player -- in that organization."

After wrapping up his playing days with stints with the Dodgers and Reds, Schumaker began his coaching career as the Padres’ first-base coach in 2018 before being promoted to associate manager in ’20. He spent one season as the Cardinals’ bench coach in 2022 before replacing Don Mattingly – who won the 2020 NL Manager of the Year Award – as the Marlins’ skipper.

But long before the Marlins gave Schumaker his first shot as a big league skipper, they gave Hyde his start in professional coaching.

Hyde managed in the Marlins’ organization from 2005-09, leading the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers (2005-06), Double-A Carolina Mudcats (’07), High-A Jupiter Hammerheads (’08) and Double-A Jacksonville Suns (’09).

Then, in 2011, Hyde made his big league managerial debut as the Marlins’ acting manager just hours after Edwin Rodriguez abruptly resigned on June 19, 2011. Florida hired Jack McKeon the following day, meaning Hyde carried an 0-1 managerial record until Baltimore hired him prior to the ’19 season.

Now, he has a 101-win season and an AL Manager of the Year Award to his name.

“I don't think you expect to go into a season expecting to win 101 games in the regular season, to be honest with you,” Hyde said. “I was just hoping we'd build off last year -- I was really encouraged by the second half we had last year.”

But with a young core -- one that includes unanimous AL Rookie of the Year Award winner Gunnar Henderson -- Hyde is hoping to take another leap in 2024. It might be hard to improve on 101 wins in the regular season, but the O’s will be eyeing more postseason success after being swept out of the ALDS by the eventual World Series champion Rangers.

“I felt like we could be even better this year with another year of experience and some guys coming into their prime,” Hyde said. “And I feel good about next year, as well.”

Schumaker has a similar feeling about the upstart Marlins.

“I think we set a new standard in that clubhouse,” Schumaker said. “And I think, now, it’s time to protect that standard. I think the culture kind of changed. Now, they know what winning looks like.”