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For starters, Orioles aren't close to Giants


For starters, Orioles aren't close to Giants

Orioles fans had to be a little envious. They watched the San Francisco Giants easily dispose of the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles had five more wins during the regular season than the Tigers.

They split their six games with Detroit. Surely, the Orioles could have done better against the Giants.

San Francisco had 94 wins, one more than the Orioles, but there was one important facet that separates the teams, starting pitching.

Everyone saw the Giants starters dominate the seemingly overmatched Tigers. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder did little in the World Series despite dominating regular seasons.

And for all the insipid in-game interviews with Justin Verlander, he had a rotten start in Game 1, and after that Detroit was done.

Now, about those San Francisco starters. The Giants’ five starters, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum all had 10 or more wins.

San Francisco got 71 wins from its five starters, who began all but two games in 2012.

Lincecum was 10-15, but the other four were all at least five games over .500.  At 16-5, Cain was 11 over.

Just one Orioles starter, Wei-Yin Chen had more than 10 wins, and at 12-11, was just one game over .500.

Twelve Orioles started at least two games, and eight of them started 10 or more.

Even with those great starters, the Giants had only five complete games and 53 saves while the Orioles had just one complete game, by Jason Hammel, and 55 saves. Fifty-one of the saves were by Jim Johnson. 

Offensively, the Giants scored just six more runs than the Orioles. They had the fewest home runs in the majors, 103 and just one player, Buster Posey had more than 12.

Baltimore had 215 home runs, more than double the Giants’ total. Five players had more than 20.

San Francisco had five players with more than 10 stolen bases, and their on-base percentage was .327. The Orioles had just two players with 10 or more steals, and their on-base percentage was .311.

Seven Orioles had more than 100 strikeouts. The Giants had just two.

There are players on the Orioles the Giants would surely covet: Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Manny Machado.

The franchises have few links. One of them is at catcher. Matt Wieters and Posey played against each other in college.

Wieters is a year older, and was chosen fifth by the Orioles I 2007 out of Georgia Tech. A year later, Posey was also picked fifth from Florida State.

This was Wieters’ first time in the postseason. Posey now has two World Series titles. Wieters was in the postseason for the first time.

It’s natural that these players, whose teams played last in June 2010 will be compared.

Next August, the Orioles will visit San Francisco for three games. Then, comparisons will be easier to make.

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

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Orioles finally hire Brandon Hyde as new manager

The Orioles have finally found their man.

After entering the Winter Meetings without having yet hired their new manager, a rarity in this era of baseball, the Orioles announced Friday that they had hired Brandon Hyde to fill the role.

Hyde joins the organization after spending half a decade in Chicago under Joe Maddon, and many years prior with the Marlins. He has a long background in player development, something that was important to new Orioles GM Mike Elias, which makes sense considering the state of the organization and their upcoming rebuilding process.

Hyde is 45, so he’ll have the opportunity to stick in Baltimore for a long time if he finds success, however, Elias defines it, in the next few seasons. Many times, the manager leading a team as it embarks on an organizational rebuild is not the same one who leads them back into contention, but the Orioles front office will certainly hope Hyde is up to both tasks.
“After conducting an intensive search, I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball,” said Mike Elias, Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager, in a statement released Friday.

“Brandon’s deep background in player development and Major League coaching, most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a World Champion, has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process. I look forward to introducing him to our fans next week and to working together with him to build the next great Orioles team.”

Elias was thought to have preferred someone with Major League experience, so as to avoid saddling an up-and-coming manager with multiple 90-plus loss seasons inevitably on the horizon in Baltimore. Hyde technically has experience coaching in the big leagues, though it comes in the form of a single game. The Marlins lost his one game as acting manager 2-1 to the Rays, and Jack McKeon was named interim manager the next day.

Maddon has developed a reputation as a stellar communicator and somebody open to analytics, and it stands to reason that Hyde would follow a similar style of leadership, especially considering how critical those traits are in the eyes of Elias.

Hyde replaces Buck Showalter, a beloved figure in Baltimore after his 8 ½ seasons at the helm brought winning baseball back to a city desperate for relevancy. Showalter’s contract was not renewed at the end of this past season, an understandable decision given his age and how long it will be until the franchise is ready to compete again.

Reports swirled about Hyde being named the 20th manager in franchise history as early as Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, though Elias and the front office were quick to emphasize that nothing was official at the time. In the end, Hyde does end up accepting the job, and he’ll be introduced at a press conference Monday.

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was, along with Hyde, one of six finalists who interviewed for the position, so the Nats won’t be losing a valuable piece of their staff.

The Orioles are in the honeymoon phase of the rebuild, where hope springs eternal and the losses to come haven’t set in yet. Hyde checks all the boxes for what Elias was looking for, and despite his relative inexperience, he’s someone who should excite, if not necessarily inspire, the fanbase in Charm City.

Orioles fans won’t have many exciting acquisitions to cheer on in the near future, but they may have just made one of their most impactful. The O’s finally have their GM-Manager combination set for the foreseeable future, and they’ll hope to experience as much success and more as the previous regime.

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Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

USA Today Sports

Orioles GM Elias calls reports of Brandon Hyde being next manager "premature"

Orioles new general manager Mike Elias is a busy man out in Las Vegas. Not only is he looking to add much needed talent to Baltimore's roster but he is also searching for a new manager. Elias interviewed six candidates, including Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, for the vacancy. On Monday, Elias said they were “pretty far along in the process.”

Then the reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Orioles had found their man. 

For a second straight year, Joe Maddon's bench coach has landed a managerial job (Davey Martinez). 

But, in the words of College Gameday's Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend!"

Does that mean Hyde is not the manager? Not necessarily. It likely means Elias wants the news to come out on his terms.