The Baltimore Orioles will be all about change in 2019. Mike Elias is now the head of the organization (save for ownership), and Brandon Hyde is in charge of the operations on the field. Not to mention that we’ll see more change on the field in terms of the players than we have perhaps since circa 2008.
However the Orioles find themselves in a position in which perhaps they’ve never been. Literally the entire organization is going to be new (or semi-new) to their respective positions. Sure the Mancini’s, Davis’, and Trumbo’s of the world are holdovers. There are also a few holdovers in other areas of the organization, such as scout Nathan Showalter (Buck’s son). But I digress.
For the most part, everyone’s new. Mistakes will be made; I’m just telling you that up front. When Buck took over in 2010 there was an expectation of a certain par which came with an experienced manager (and one of his caliber at that). Not to mention that at the time Andy MacPhail (an experienced GM) manned the front office. While the team wasn’t necessarily stacked with veterans, there were lots of players who had been around for awhile at that point. None of that is true this time around.
Spring Training will have a huge say in who starts at which position and so forth. However once the (semi) permanent lineup is set, as I said mistakes will be made. And I’m not talking about grounders rolling under mitts, pop flies being lost in the sun or lights, or anything along those lines. That happens with veterans – as we saw in 2018. I’m talking about guys taking the wrong route to balls, missing cut off men, etc. And not only that…
…mistakes will be made by coaches also. Brandon Hyde has managed in the minor leagues, but this is MLB. He’s going to make mistakes. As will the base coaches among others. Ironically Showalter was a master at a trait at which so many young managers struggle: handling the bullpen. As I look around baseball, I see so many young managers flat out abusing their bullpens to the point to where someone’s arm could fall off. And it’s not just a recent phenomenon; it’s been going on for years.
Guys like Buck who turn into great managers all started by misusing their bullpens. So maybe expect a little of that from Hyde – maybe not, for all I know. My point is that he’s going to make mistakes; as Buck said so often, we’re dealing with human beings here.
My hope is that Orioles fans are patient and forgiving with Hyde. Not to mention the players, and even Elias in the front office. These guys are all going to be new to their jobs. Yes from Elias to Hyde on down they’ve all seen their respective jobs done up close, but the fact is that they’ve never done them. And it’ll take some time for everyone to be on the same page. Because the entire organization is going to be collectively growing together.