The Orioles’ rise from 110-loss team in 2021 to playoff contender this summer, their record settling above .500 to shock the industry, couldn’t launch manager Brandon Hyde toward another award.
Hyde was runner-up tonight to the Guardians’ Terry Francona for the American League’s Manager of the Year in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He finished first last month in The Sporting News balloting.
In his fourth season with the Orioles, Hyde guided the Orioles to an 83-79 record for one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history. He received nine first-place votes, nine second and seven third for 79 points.
Francona, who won the AL Central with the youngest roster in the league, received 17 first-place votes and nine second for 112 points. The Mariners’ Scott Servais was third with one first-place, eight second and 14 third.
Dusty Baker, whose Astros won the World Series, was fourth with three first-place, three second and seven third. The Yankees’ Aaron Boone was fifth with one second and one third. The Rays’ Kevin Cash, who won it the past two seasons, was sixth with one third-place vote.
Ballots were submitted before the playoffs. Hyde was omitted on five of them.
Hyde would have become the fourth Orioles manager to receive the BBWAA honor following Frank Robinson in 1989, Davey Johnson in 1997 and Buck Showalter in 2014.
Showalter announced tonight’s winner on MLB Network.
Dumped into the middle of a massive rebuild project in his first opportunity as a major league manager, Hyde went 131-253 in his first three seasons and also had to navigate through the pandemic that reduced the 2020 schedule to 60 games and last winter’s lockout that created another shortened spring training.
No obstacle was too high in 2022.
The Orioles remained in wild card contention until the final week despite ace John Means making only two starts and undergoing Tommy John surgery, and a trade deadline that removed clubhouse leader Trey Mancini from the lineup and All-Star closer Jorge López from the bullpen.
A winning record had eluded the Orioles since 2016.
No other AL club had a better record than the Orioles and missed the playoffs. They became the third team in major league history to win at least 83 games following a 110-loss season, and the first since the 1899 St. Louis Perfectos.
“He’s been asked to manage a team through the toughest of times, and now without many expectations going into this year, he helped lead this team to the brink of the playoffs and what we hope was a corner-turning season,” executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said last week.
The Orioles went 59-44 after June 10, the best record in the league.
Players kept endorsing Hyde for the award.
“We all love him,” starter Tyler Wells said last month. “He’s a great manager, he’s a great person, he’s a great coach, and I think he’s provided so much insight for a lot of us younger guys this year that I think that you directly saw that into this year with the way that young guys performed, the way that I performed.
“I’ve had multiple conversations with him about that stuff, about how was it with John Lackey and Jon Lester whenever he was with the Cubs. Trying to take his wisdom that he saw from those guys that had very long careers, very successful careers, and being able to build off of that for myself. I think with the insight that he’s provided, working around the limitations for me and maybe for other guys, and the way that our guys have performed, I think is a direct correlation to what he has done this year as a manager.”
“He had the right guys in the right spots to have this record that we have,” said reliever Dillon Tate. “It’s still not what we would have wanted, but even still, we’ve exceeded expectations and we’ve had the right guys in the right spots this year.”
“I think you see the patience and you see where the organization was, and now the process is coming to fruition,” said outfielder Ryan McKenna. “Obviously, (Hyde's) had such an important part in that, just with everything that he’s done with us.
“This is one of the best turnarounds in MLB history,” said outfielder Ryan McKenna, “so allowing that environment to take place and making the right moves along the way intellectually, and surrounding yourself with good people, I think that’s something that Brandon has done really well and is a huge credit to him. Allowing the environment to do what it needs to to perform and expecting a good results whenever we’re going to compete against good teams in this league. I think he’s done a phenomenal job this year.”