Brandon Hyde is that rare skipper that led not just the rebuild, but the winning too

Brandon Hyde

We didn’t need to see the Orioles take their magic number from one to zero to know that Brandon Hyde is the right manager for this team. That should have been apparent well before last night.

But after the Orioles won the AL East with a 2-0 victory over Boston and Hyde had been doused in the clubhouse, he made his way to the interview room where he was asked this question – how does it feel to not only be the manager who saw this team through the rebuild, but to still be here when they won the division?

Hyde was not a caretaker during all the losing only to watch someone else take his guys and win. He did that.

“It means a lot,” said Hyde. “(Executive vice president and general manager) Mike (Elias) told me that he was hiring me and said, ‘I’m not hiring you to replace you when we get more talented.’ He held true to that.

“He was way more patient, honestly those first few years, than I was. I took losses hard and knew we weren’t as talented as other teams. I felt bad for the guys in the clubhouse, and it beats you up. Mike showed great patience. And understood the plan was in place. And he drafted extremely well and got more talent in this organization like he said he was going to. And you are seeing it now.

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Machado: “I’ve never seen a team rebuild that quickly"

Manny Machado Padres

SAN DIEGO – Manny Machado dug in against Orioles closer Félix Bautista last night with two Padres on base and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, back-to-back walks allowing him to represent the potential tying run. Machado took a 101.2 mph fastball out of the strike zone, missed a 100.4 mph fastball, offered at a splitter and grounded it to third baseman Ramón Urías for the game-ending double play.

One team moved a season-high 29 games above .500. The other kept spiraling downward.

The Orioles hadn’t played the Padres since 2019, a year after former executive Dan Duquette began the complete teardown of the club by trading Machado to the Dodgers for five players, including starter Dean Kremer.

Closer Zack Britton was gone a week later, followed by relievers Brad Brach and Darren O’Day, starter Kevin Gausman and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.  

The competitive window slammed shut, and the only sounds left were goodbyes and some tears.

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McFarland circles back to Orioles

T.J. McFarland Whites

T.J. McFarland missed the brutality of the Orioles’ rebuild process.

He was a Rule 5 pick in the winter of 2012, after the Orioles snapped a streak of 14 consecutive losing seasons and defeated the Rangers in the wild card game. He appeared in 37 games in 2014, when they won the division and reached the American League Championship Series. He was released in February 2017 after their final playoff appearance, the wild card loss in Toronto.

The rhythm of McFarland’s career skipped him over the front office, managerial, coaching and philosophical changes in the organization. It brought him back this week, four teams later, after he agreed to a minor league contract and reported to Triple-A Norfolk.

“I missed all of that,” he said with a laugh during yesterday’s phone conversation. “I was here with the good years. It’s funny how everybody, even the young guys in Norfolk, they were asking me about Baltimore and I was like, ‘I don’t know anything about that. I was here when (Adam) Jones was here and (J.J.) Hardy was here and (Chris) Davis was here. We went to the playoffs three of the years I was here. It was like, I don’t remember any of the rebuild part.”

McFarland, 34, has tossed 2 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings in two games with the Tides, though he’s walked three batters. He gives the major league club a veteran left-handed option for the stretch run.

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