Baltimore Orioles: Is youth the new hand of experience?

It didn’t take much to know that the Baltimore Orioles were going to go with a youth movement this year. New GM Mike Elias (who’s incidentally younger than I) and new manager Brandon Hyde certainly fit that bill. These are men who have never done their respective jobs to this point, but who have certainly seen how to do them and seen it up close.

That’a not unlike moving up in any other career path, for the record. If you get into a company out of college on the ground level, you see your superiors doing their jobs. After a couple of years maybe one of those jobs comes available, you apply, and you’re hired. You have no experience in the job, although you’ve seen it close up.

However as I look around sports, I see lots of teams getting younger in the dugout or on the sideline. The Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, and Boston Red Sox all have young managers. It’s one thing for the 2019 Orioles – a rebuilding team. But those are teams looking to contend. Heck, Boston won the World Series with a young manager.

The Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA have a young coach in Luke Walton. Again, that’s a team who expects to go to the playoffs each year. And look at the Ravens right here in Baltimore. When they hired John Harbaugh they were looking to contend; and he had no experience.

In my world, there’s no substitute for the steady hand of experience. That’s why Buck Showalter was the right hire in 2010 for the Orioles. And results over time proved that point to be correct. But is the sports business changing?

I think that there’s a perception out there that older and more experienced coaches or managers are less likely to think outside the box or take chances in games. They’ve always done it this way, and that’s not going to change. Younger coaches are hungry and they’re eager to make their own way.

I still maintain that there’s no substitute for the steady hand of experience. That should and will always be the case. Again, the 2019 Orioles were almost begging for a young leader. Someone exactly like Brandon Hyde. However it’s just interesting to see that experience doesn’t necessarily mean what it used to across the sports industry.

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