BALTIMORE -- Nine summers before he put on an Orioles cap in an official capacity, Brandon Hyde was summoned to Baltimore for the first time. That June 2010, Hyde boarded a plane as a 36-year-old Minor League instructor. He landed in Charm City with his first Major League job title
BALTIMORE -- Nine summers before he put on an Orioles cap in an official capacity, Brandon Hyde was summoned to Baltimore for the first time. That June 2010, Hyde boarded a plane as a 36-year-old Minor League instructor. He landed in Charm City with his first Major League job title with the Marlins, having been promoted to bench coach as part of a midseason staff overhaul.
The memories of that "whirlwind day" bubbled back to the surface this week for Hyde, as he and his family are now tied to Baltimore for the foreseeable future. That first break sparked a chain of events that led to Monday, when Hyde was officially introduced as the 20th manager in O's history.
"Being named manager of the Orioles is a dream come true, and I'm incredibly humbled to be here," Hyde said. "There are a lot of things that are strange about it, the reasons why I'm here today."
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Those reasons were outlined during Monday's hour-long news conference at Orioles Park, over which a central theme emerged. Though Baltimore once represented Hyde's big coaching chance, he is tied much more to what transpired before and after what he called "his intro to the big leagues." Nearly a decade coaching in the Marlins' farm system led to 2 1/2 years on their Major League staff, which Hyde parlayed into a six-year tenure with the Cubs. In Chicago, he oversaw one of the sport's most famous farm system reboots and then rose with those prospects to the Majors, with great success.
To new O's GM Mike Elias, that unique blend of experience made Hyde an ideal candidate to lead a rebuild Elias said "has no shortcuts." Not only had Hyde helped develop a bulk of players who helped turn the Cubs into contenders again, but he also shepherded them for five seasons alongside manager Joe Maddon. Hyde won a World Series ring as the Cubs' first base coach in 2016 and served as Maddon's bench coach last season. He is now the latest Maddon acolyte to ascend to a managerial job, after the Nationals hired Dave Martinez in similar fashion last winter.
As Martinez and Hyde aided the Cubs' turnaround, Elias was helping engineer an even more drastic rebuild in Houston. A similar task awaits Hyde and Elias in Baltimore, where they inherit a 115-loss team and one of baseball's lower-rated farm systems.
"[Hyde]'s no stranger to this whatsoever because of where he's coming from. The fact that he comes from the Chicago Cubs was attractive because I think he'll bring new ideas to us and make us smarter," Elias said. "Once we talked to Brandon, it made me feel really good that he understood the scope of this, and that he'd been through it in the same way. To have that shared perspective is an asset, I think. It absolutely added a lot to his candidacy."
The Orioles have not disclosed details of Hyde's contract. But by tabbing Hyde over three other candidates with managerial experience, it stands to reason his leash won't be short, even if the wins are few at first. Elias and Hyde forecast their relationship as a collaborative one, bound by a shared vision and no arbitrary timetables.
"We're taking this one step at a time," Hyde said. "We understand where we are, and we're going to be process-based."
"We view the manager's chair as an outpost of the front office," Elias said. "He will be involved on every decision and strategy."
Their first joint task will be to stock Hyde's coaching staff, and to do so, they'll target what Hyde described as "player development people" of his ilk. Hyde calls himself "a player development guy who loves the game, understands the grind and loves big league players and builds relationships." When asked, executives tossed in praise of Hyde's communication and leadership abilities. It all folds into a package very much in demand across the modern baseball landscape, the evidence of which is plain to see. Before landing the O's job, Hyde interviewed for managerial openings in Texas, Toronto, Anaheim and Minnesota this offseason.
"He's an up-and-coming star in our business," Elias said. "His was the very first name I heard. Every phone call I made, his name always came up."
Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.