As the Orioles’ latest losing streak has reached six games in a row overall and 17 straight on the road, trying to stay upbeat and keep a good energy level is a challenge. They are humans inside those uniforms, and mounting losses frustrate them just as they do fans.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has reminded reporters all year that the Orioles clubhouse has remained upbeat in part because of some veteran leaders and a coaching staff that stays upbeat every day.
That can’t be easy.
“It’s hard, there is no doubt about it,” Hyde said today during his Zoom interview. “Thinking back to a couple of years ago, I was getting similar questions because I had come from a team that was in the postseason four years in a row and three championship series in a row. I was very fortunate to be part of a winning team and understood what this was going to be because I had been through that before also.
“It doesn’t make it any easier, though. And losing is hard. You just try to think big picture as much as you possibly can, even though sometimes in the moment it’s hard to go through. But yeah, I give our coaches a lot of credit for helping me, too. I am very fortunate to be around just a great coaching staff that is extremely hard-working, incredibly positive, very supportive. We talk a lot and we support each other and we commiserate together a lot of times in my office after and before games.
“I have a great relationship with the coaches and that is very, very helpful. And the front office is very, very supportive. They are very aware and understand what we are going through, too. You know this is not going to be easy. We knew this would take a while, and it’s going to take a while. But our minor league system is continuing to get better and some of our impact players are, hopefully, inching closer to the big leagues. That is just what it is going to take.”
During an earlier Zoom today, Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias he would not comment on the contract situation of anyone in the baseball operations department but expressed strong support again for Hyde, saying they are both part of a multi-year process to improve the Orioles.
“Mike is very transparent with me about what our expectations are and where we are, not only in our division but around the league,” Hyde said. “It’s going to take some time. We are going to need to draft high and develop impact players. And right now, from a salary standpoint, our team is a lot less than everybody else and we understand that. We need to continue to be better in the minor leagues and develop some impact players to compete at this level.”
Hyde was asked if there is a player or players he looks to when things are not going well.
“For a team that is going through what we are right now, and for some of these guys doing this for three years, four or more, I give a lot of credit to them for their attitude every day. And you watch our stretch on the field a few minutes ago or our pregame work, you wouldn’t notice or recognize we are going through a tough time and it’s been a tough few years. So I think that is collective. And it starts with the coaching staff. Veteran guys are huge with that.
“But we also have guys that just have really good attitudes. Cedric Mullins, he’s one. He is definitely a lot different this year in a great way. Someone that is playing at an All-Star level but also walking around with a real winning attitude. Just upbeat, wants to play every day. We need a lot of those type of guys to win in this league.”
Hyde said he wanted to give Anthony Santander a day off and that is why he is not in tonight’s lineup.