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Coming up with Orioles resolutions for 2019

A team that posted the worst record in club history is bound to be subjected to the New Year’s Eve ball-dropping joke that I repeat every winter. I’ll be above it today. ‘Tis the season for clichéd resolution articles and I’m not above them. For example: Jonathan Villar: Don’t make the first or last out trying to steal third base. Villar: Don’t be passive on

More leftovers from Hyde

As new Orioles manager Brandon Hyde stresses the importance of giving a full effort, whether through conversations over the phone, in face-to-face meetings or in spring training drills that send a message that carries into the regular season. He’s going to seek out the older players who can provide examples to the younger crew. And he’s also going to expect that same level of commitment

Grover on being a Rule 5 selection by the Orioles

Taylor Grover was sick in bed, given permission by his manager in Venezuela to skip a few games, as the Rule 5 draft unfolded in Las Vegas. He tried to stream it on his phone, struggling to get a wireless connection, and almost missed its most critical moment. The one that would change his life. The Reds had signed Grover, the 27-year-old pitcher fresh out

Because You Asked - The Quest for Peace

I can’t let 2018 pass without emptying out my mailbag. Especially since it passes for cardio exercise in my household. No need for a treadmill that would only collect dust anyway, or be used to hang wet clothes. I can work my biceps by lifting all of the duplicate questions. You ask ‘em, I answer ‘em and someone else asks the same ones. It’s a

Orioles hiring Tim Cossins for coaching staff (updated)

New Orioles manager Brandon Hyde checked with the Cubs, his most recent employer, to gauge the availability of their coaches and minor league personnel as he scrambled to assemble a staff in Baltimore. He’s succeeded in prying away one member of the organization. Tim Cossins is joining the Orioles with the responsibility of working with the catchers, per an industry source. His exact title isn’t

Searching for the good in a bad season

Former Orioles manager Buck Showalter always said it’s a mistake to take over a losing team and assume that everything is wrong and needs to be fixed or replaced. It wasn’t his approach in the summer of 2010, as the Orioles were continuing a streak of losing seasons that reached 14, and Brandon Hyde won’t make those assumptions after 115 losses fueled a teardown. “No

Leftovers for breakfast

One of the common refrains in baseball is how hustle never goes into a slump. New Orioles manager Brandon Hyde is a firm believer. The Orioles won’t present a roster with the same level of talent as the contenders. That’s not how a rebuild works. It won’t bring the same experience. It won’t include the same number of elite prospects. But there’s no reason why

How did Mancini improve at the plate in the second half?

For Trey Mancini to turn around his season, he had to go back to hitting the ball the other way. The change in direction returned him to normal. Or as close as he was going to get this summer. The contrasting splits on Mancini are as pronounced as anyone in 2018, though he reversed Dylan Bundy and finished on a much higher note. After placing

Roster rumors rare for Orioles

Orioles fans aren’t likely to find a new player under their tree on Christmas morning. The stocking stuffers won’t include a pitcher or outfielder. Dump bourbon in your egg nog - unless rum or brandy is your preference - and stay patient. Not a creature is stirring, but there’s going to be roster activity by spring training. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias

Notes on teaching, Dave Trembley and Steve Johnson

No matter who fills out the Orioles coaching staff in 2019, the ability to teach is going to be crucial, with so many young players vying for roster spots and assorted veterans in need of some tweaking, if not a complete overhaul. “I think the game in general has become a lot younger,” manager Brandon Hyde said Thursday night on the “Hot Stove Show” on

Hyde on learning more about his players and competing

Brandon Hyde can speak in general terms about the players in the Orioles organization. He’s been their manager for only a week. The specifics will come later after he’s more familiar with everyone, a task that’s going to occupy much of his winter. A full plate includes an education on personnel, which feels more like a crash course. That’s why he’s embarking this weekend on

Hyde talks about process of hiring coaches

New Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said he’s reached out to coaches on this year’s staff while in the process of making hires for the 2019 season. Hyde stated during last night’s “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan that he wouldn’t offer any promises, but he’s open to considering candidates from all corners of baseball. He isn’t committed to bringing in an entirely new crew,

More minors, Hyde and Mancini

The Orioles haven’t made any decisions regarding their minor league staffs with so much other work to be done, including the hiring of major league coaches to pair with new manager Brandon Hyde. Triple-A Norfolk doesn’t have a manager after the Orioles decided to part ways with Ron Johnson. They could promote from within, perhaps elevating Gary Kendall from Double-A Bowie, or seek an outside

Pulling more out of the Brandon Hyde press conference

The press conference introducing Brandon Hyde as Orioles manager can be picked apart like a turkey carcass. How Hyde separated himself from the other five candidates. How the front office intends to maintain a daily dialogue with him. The task of constructing a coaching staff. The usage of analytics. Hyde’s slow rise to up-and-coming star. One of the biggest curiosities for me involved the level

Elias digs deeper into managerial hiring process

We may never know with pinpoint accuracy when Brandon Hyde received his offer from the Orioles to become the 20th manager in club history, when he accepted it, when it was safe to stitch his name across the back of a jersey. It really doesn’t matter as we move forward, but someone in the organization insisted yesterday that, as reports surfaced at the Winter Meetings

More from Elias and Hyde at today’s press conference

Before executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias presented new manager Mike Elias with his No. 18 Orioles jersey and cap, before they shook hands as cameras and iPhones captured the moment with varying degrees of clarity, the former Astros assistant explained his latest hire and why it felt like the right fit. “Today represents the culmination of what was a very intensive, very

Hyde on staying “patient and positive” as Orioles manager

Brandon Hyde was announced today as the Orioles’ 20th manager following an “intensive, thorough” search, as described by executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias. They met a few weeks ago, had dinner together and Elias was convinced that Hyde would be “a good fit.” The bonding process continued today while Hyde’s wife and three children watched his 35-minute press conference from the front

Hyde hiring will be discussed today at press conference

The Orioles will introduce Brandon Hyde today as the 20th manager in club history during a noon press conference at Camden Yards. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias, hired a month earlier, will join Hyde in the auxiliary clubhouse. Hyde brings 16 years of professional coaching experience, though only one game as a major league manager. He was the Cubs bench coach in

Leftovers for breakfast

The Orioles selected former first-round pick Richie Martin from the Athletics organization in the Rule 5 draft primarily for his plus defensive skills. The glove and the arm. Tools that they need at shortstop. However, there also is the projection that he’s going to keep trending upward offensively, encouragement born from his .300/.368/.439 slash line in 118 games this summer at Double-A Midland of the

Roster decisions developing slowly

There is going to be a point in the offseason when the Orioles are directing the vast majority of their collective energy toward constructing their 25-man roster and providing new manager Brandon Hyde with more options by improving the overall depth. Hires will be completed, staffs will be filled and the Orioles can expend most of their energy on free agency and the trade market.

Orioles hire Brandon Hyde as manager

Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde will be introduced at noon on Monday as the 20th manager in Orioles history. Left behind at the Winter Meetings are the confusion, controversy and criticisms over the reported confirmations coming out of Las Vegas. The club has made it official. Hyde is the replacement for Buck Showalter, who guided the Orioles to three playoff appearances and one division title

Leftovers from the Winter Meetings

No longer in Las Vegas for baseball’s Winter Meetings, my body is in the process of adjusting to the time change and the lack of slot machines and second-hand smoke. Anyone know where I can score a $40 sandwich? In the span of a couple days, the Orioles indicated that Jonathan Villar was their starting shortstop and then grabbed two shortstops in the Rule 5

Wrapping up the Rule 5 draft

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles left the Winter Meetings today with two Rule 5 picks and a full 40-man roster. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias used the first overall selection to take shortstop Richie Martin from the Athletics organization and the Orioles later acquired infielder Drew Jackson from the Phillies, who had plucked him from the Dodgers system earlier in the morning.

Orioles select shortstop Richie Martin in Rule 5 draft (updated)

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles made the decision last night on which player they would select in this morning’s Rule 5 draft, the name agreed upon in a second meeting among team officials and scouts. They didn’t repeat last year’s tactic of loading up on pitching, choosing shortstop Richie Martin from the Athletics organization. Martin, who turns 24 later this month, was the 20th overall

Recapping the Winter Meetings on the final day

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles are on the clock this morning with the first pick in the Rule 5 draft. Their contingent at the Winter Meetings will be on a plane later in the day. A review of the business conducted so far includes claiming third baseman Rio Ruiz off waivers from the Braves and losing pitcher Ryan Meisinger to the Cardinals. And, yes, the

Wrapping up Day 3 of the Winter Meetings

LAS VEGAS - The big screen television inside the suite of Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias was tuned again today to MLB Network. “I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any Orioles moves,” he quipped. Always start with a joke. Play to the crowd. Elias didn’t confirm that he made a decision on his manager and that Cubs bench coach

Notes on manager search, coaches, Davis, Trumbo, Bleier, more

LAS VEGAS - Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias didn’t confirm today that he’s chosen a manager. However, he talked about “a lot happening” over the past 24 hours and feeling “very good” about where he is in the process. He wants to get it done soon, but can’t provide a specific timeframe. Elias referred to yesterday’s reports on the job being

Boras met with Orioles to discuss ways to improve Davis’ output

LAS VEGAS - The lack of a buzz surrounding the Orioles at baseball’s Winter Meetings, the heavy silence that’s pervasive beyond the managerial chatter, has been deafening. The only interesting note so far today was agent Scott Boras revealing during his annual media scrum that he met with team officials yesterday, but not to pitch a client. Rather, to assist in getting more production out

Maryland native Ryan Meisinger talks about leaving O’s organization

LAS VEGAS - Ryan Meisinger was driving from his Richmond, Va., home to Baltimore on Monday morning when he received a phone call from an Orioles official. He had no idea that it would change the direction of his trip and his life. Tripp Norton, the club’s director of baseball operations, alerted Meisinger that he had been placed on waivers, with the Orioles hoping to

Seeking more confirmations on Hyde

LAS VEGAS - Today marks the last full day of the 2018 Winter Meetings, with the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning providing the final buzzer. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said the Orioles won’t leave Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with a new manager, a press conference or “introduction” coming to Baltimore at a later date. If that’s the case, they’re

Elias calls report of Hyde hiring “premature”

LAS VEGAS - Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias disputed reports today that he’s chosen Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde as manager - including one airing on MLB Network and shown on the television inside his suite at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino as he sat down with the local media. Elias was able to laugh at the absurdity of the situation,

Coolbaugh hired as Dodgers’ Triple-A hitting coach

LAS VEGAS - Former Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh has been hired as hitting coach with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City. Coolbaugh accepted the offer this week and signed his contract earlier today. Coolbaugh replaced Jim Presley as hitting coach prior to the 2015 season. His contract ran out on Oct. 31 and he wasn’t expected to return under a new manager, who’s

Grenier enjoys Winter Meetings and reflects on first pro season

LAS VEGAS - Orioles shortstop prospect Cadyn Grenier lives 10 minutes from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He never had a reason to show up at the Winter Meetings until today. Grenier conducted a few interviews with local media and hoped to meet later with executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias. Make a full day of it. “It works out well for

Notes on Cobb interest and Villar’s position

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles aren’t expected to shop Dylan Bundy at the Winter Meetings, with executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias referencing the right-hander in a letter sent out to season ticket holders. However, some of the executives who have gathered at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino are curious about the availability of Alex Cobb, who has three years and $43

Notes on managerial hire, Ruiz claim and more

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles will choose a manager from among six candidates, according to executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias. However, it’s possible for two hires to come out of the process. Elias seems to be leaning more toward experience, preferring someone who’s managed in the majors, but he also could hire Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell in a coaching

Elias on manager search, the front office, goals and more

LAS VEGAS - Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias arrived at the Winter Meetings this morning with his focus primarily on the hiring of a new manager, which would lead to the completion of the coaching staff. The roster isn’t being ignored, but there are more pressing matters, including replacements for director of player development Brian Graham and director of scouting Gary

O’s will choose manager from six candidates (and other notes)

LAS VEGAS - Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias confirmed this afternoon that he’s conducted six in-person interviews for the managerial position and hopes to name a replacement for Buck Showalter later this month. Elias, meeting with the media for about 20 minutes inside his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, said the process is “pretty far” along and there

Orioles claim Rio Ruiz off waivers (and other notes)

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles subtracted Maryland native Ryan Meisinger from their 40-man roster today and claimed infielder Rio Ruiz off waivers from the Braves. The Cardinals claimed Meisinger before he could clear, ending the feel-good story of the local kid pitching for his favorite team. Meisinger attended Northern High School in Calvert County and made his major league debut on June 29 at Camden

Lunch with Mancini and Givens included in MLB auction experience

LAS VEGAS - The Orioles are providing fans with an opportunity to have lunch with two of their players next year, assist the grounds crew and enjoy a behind-the-scenes experience at Camden Yards. It’s also for a good cause, a win-win situation before the first pitch has been thrown. Major League Baseball revealed this morning that its annual charity auction at the Winter Meetings will

Day One of the Winter Meetings

LAS VEGAS - The first official day of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings finally has arrived, though the lobby of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino began to fill up yesterday. The chatter surrounding the Orioles, and there hasn’t been much of it, centers on the unique circumstances of team representatives arriving without a manager in tow. The expectation is that they will leave in the

Former Orioles Harold Baines and Lee Smith headed to Cooperstown

LAS VEGAS - The first nugget of news has rolled through baseball’s Winter Meetings this afternoon at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. And it picked up a couple of former Orioles. Longtime outfielder/designated hitter Harold Baines and reliever Lee Smith have been chosen for induction in the Hall of Fame by the Today’s Game Era Committee. The announcement was made a few minutes ago

Prepping for the Winter Meetings

The Orioles will leave the Winter Meetings with at least one selection in Thursday morning’s Rule 5 draft. This is the only lock. They’re holding the first overall pick and intend to use it. Only the names change. Of the players chosen and the executives in charge of making the decisions. Everything else that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Executive vice president and general

Bundy on importance of veteran catcher, Mancini on role and rebuild

Without a manager in place to offer an opinion, it really falls upon executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias to decide whether the Orioles should concentrate on finding a veteran catcher as the Winter Meetings commence in Las Vegas. They can continue negotiations with Caleb Joseph, who’s attracting plenty of interest in free agency. Elias also can sit down with other executives to

Bundy crunches some numbers

Dylan Bundy already knows the numbers. He’s seen them or had them recited to him. I wasn’t breaking news. Bundy, a call-in guest last night on the “Orioles Hot Stove” show on 105.7 The Fan, managed a chuckle as I cited his issues with the longball. The career-high 41 home runs allowed that led the majors. Let’s start there and slowly work our way toward

Mills and Clark remain under contract with Orioles

As we move closer to the start of the Winter Meetings, we can rehash the items on the Orioles’ shopping list that don’t include a new manager and a coaching staff. The need for a middle infielder, with shortstop seemingly the preference. Veteran pitchers who could be plugged into the rotation or bullpen, because no team really has enough. A veteran catcher after Caleb Joseph

This, that and the other

Starter Dylan Bundy and left fielder Trey Mancini are calling into Thursday’s “Orioles Hot Stove” show on 105.7 The Fan, which already has my mind racing to come up with the appropriate questions. The inappropriate ones are saved for later. OK, seriously, I’ll want to know their feelings on the changes rippling throughout the organization. How Bundy feels about the possibility of a new pitching

Yefry Ramírez: “I’m just trying to improve overall”

Yefry Ramírez celebrated his 25th birthday last week in the Dominican Republic by making it a typical day in his offseason life. Lots of sweat. A sharpened focus on his conditioning. And all of it done with the same infectious smile. A hunk of cake, with its sugary temptations, came with a slice of guilt. Save the rose for someone else. Ramírez dived into a

This, that and the other

Less than a week before the Winter Meetings begin, if we’re counting Sunday’s flight to Las Vegas and scant opportunities for media access, and the Orioles seem to be in the phase of their managerial search where they compile a list of candidates to interview. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and his staff have conducted background searches and eliminated names that had

Latest reports on Orioles managerial search

While the Orioles attempt to keep another tight lid on their managerial search, more names are seeping through the cracks. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has confirmed that Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Royals quality control/catching coach Pedro Grifol are on the list of candidates. Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell, younger brother of new Reds manager David Bell,

More on Joseph’s non-tender and his letter to fans

Catcher Caleb Joseph, non-tendered Friday night by the Orioles and a free agent for the first time in his career, is drawing interest from a handful of teams. It didn’t take long. Plenty of clubs are checking on available catchers, but the market is flooded, with MLBTradeRumors.com providing the latest update: Drew Butera Robinson Chirinos A.J. Ellis Yasmani Grandal Chris Herrmann Nick Hundley Caleb Joseph

More thoughts on Graham’s departure from Orioles

I woke up yesterday morning feeling quite confident that Brian Graham was staying with the Orioles, whether as director of player development or with an adjusted title and set of duties. His knowledge of the organization, straight down through the farm system, was valued by new executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias. He was doing the heavy lifting before Elias’ arrival and continued

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