Orioles Preview - Page 24 - Rebuilding Crew (3)

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- Page 24
Rebuilding Crew (3)

without the title, Cale Cox, wasn’t retained when baseball operations contracts expired Oct. 31.

 

But as Elias and Mejdal were hard at work addressing some of those institutional deficiencies— and still are—the task of replacing a popular figure in Showalter loomed.

 

FIFTH TIME’S THE CHARM

 

Hyde, 45, had already been a candidate for four jobs by the time Elias signed on in Baltimore in mid-November. Hyde had spent as long after the Cubs’ season ended crisscrossing the country on interviews and hopping on conference calls before the last of those vacancies were filled Nov. 3, as he did in “take a step back” mode, refocusing on the 2019Cubs and what could get them back to the World Series.

 

All the reasons he was fine with staying in Chicago were the reasons he was an attractive candidate this offseason to manage. He was Joe Maddon’s bench coach, and worked for a well-respected front office that had entrusted him with building the farm system that helped Chicago to its 2016World Series title.

 

But unlike with some of the other jobs that came open this fall, Hyde didn’t have any connection to Elias and Mejdal, save for his brother-in-law, Astros bench coach Joe Espada. He ultimately didn’t need one.

 

Before Elias went about the business of calling other executives who had hired new managers, he asked Astros manager A.J. Hinch for his thoughts, and Hinch told him about Hyde.

 

Few have amassed the experience Hyde has — as a minor league manager, a player development coordinator, a front-office executive and bench coach — over nearly two decades with the Miami Marlins and Cubs.

 

Hyde liked the fact that the interviews were more personal — he met with Elias in the owner’s suite at Camden Yards—and how the Orioles seemed just as interested in getting to know him as learning about his baseball philosophy.

 

The commonality of what the Astros and Cubs went through to build their world title teams was an immediate draw to each.

 

“Just hearing him talk to how he got to where he is, and the way he thinks about baseball, and his evaluative skills of players and all that which has been honed not just as a member of a field staff but also as a front office executive — just the perfect package,” Elias said.

 

Said Hyde: “I felt like right away with Mike, it was very realistic, and that there was a vision that mirrored what I went through in ‘12 with Chicago. That attracted me, and I knew how much work we put in in ‘12, ‘13, ‘14, and what it took, and I thought he saw it the same way. Right then, I was like, ‘This is interesting.’ ”

 

They went to a rooftop dinner in Harbor East, bonded some more, and Elias and Mejdal felt Hyde would “certainly be among the final two or so,” after his visit. That he was the final choice became public during an uncomfortable media briefing with Elias in the Orioles’ suite at the winter meetings, when Elias was