The Orioles have been abnormally quiet about the status of manager Brandon Hyde’s contract, only announcing his initial hiring on a three-year deal that spanned the 2019-21 seasons. Dan Connolly of The Athletic reported back in September that Hyde had quietly signed an extension in the summer of 2020 — a deal that’d carry him at least through the current season. Baltimore never announced the deal. Now, Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun reports that Hyde is under contract beyond the 2022 season. The specific terms of his deal still aren’t clear, as the Orioles and Hyde have clearly preferred to keep them close to the vest.
Nevertheless, it’s notable to learn that Hyde isn’t playing out the season under the dreaded “lame-duck” managerial status. That he’s under control for at least another year is an ostensible vote of confidence in Hyde, who is clearly being evaluated on far more than the team’s win-loss record. That’s true of any manager in today’s game but is particularly true for skippers who are leading clubs in Baltimore’s situation.
It’d hardly be fair for the front office to fault Hyde for the team’s consistent losing records, after all, when the baseball operations staff has spent his entire managerial tenure tanking in an effort to perennially bolster its draft position. Beyond that, the O’s have routinely traded away big league-caliber players as they near free agency. Hyde’s rosters have been disproportionately comprised of waiver claims, minor league signings and organizational depth pieces who’ve been pushed into larger roles as the front office has eschewed any real free-agent spending or win-now trade acquisitions.
Ruiz spoke to several Orioles players, including clubhouse leaders like Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays and Paul Fry — all of whom went on record to effuse praise for Hyde. All noted Hyde’s consistency even amid protracted losing streaks, with Mancini noting that Hyde is “the same guy every day.” Mancini in particular was appreciative of Hyde and the role he played as a support pillar when Mancini was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer in the spring of 2020.
While three-plus seasons of rebuilding — and the frequent losses associated with it — might take their toll on a manager, Hyde spoke optimistically and enthusiastically about the organization’s future in his interview with Ruiz. he remains committed to the O’s, stressing that he’s “in this for the long haul” and that he’ll “be here when we’re winning.” O’s fans, in particular, will want to check out the full interview for quotes from Mancini, Mullins, Hays, Fry, Ryan Mountcastle, Hyde and GM Mike Elias on the job the skipper has done under challenging circumstances.