Brandon Hyde couldn’t finish his thought before he had to pause, fighting back tears.
After the postponement of the Orioles and Rays game on Thursday after a team meeting close to game time, Hyde addressed the media. He’s been the Orioles’ manager since Dec. 2018, but no one could’ve expected what was down the pipe for him in his second year as the team's skipper.
And when asked how this has challenged him as a leader, he began to answer before stopping, trying to hold back tears.
“Well, I think that you lead the best way you can. And I feel like I’ve been... ” he said, before a long pause.
He apologized, as the interview ended shortly thereafter.
“Sorry,” Hyde said. “Let’s do it tomorrow or the next day.”
Hyde commented earlier in the interview that he’s not feeling sorry for himself, that many in the world have it worse than he does.
His leadership, however, hasn’t gone unnoticed by players on the team.
“I can’t think of one manager who would have to deal with one of these issues in one particular year, handling it flawlessly,” pitcher Alex Cobb said. “And every single day it seems like there’s something new coming up that he’s had to deal with. He brings guys in individually, he talks to us as a group and I can see it weighing on him at times. I think today was emotional for him, but every single situation he’s handled with class and a lot of respect for everybody involved.”
Pitcher Dillon Tate said the support from Hyde and his staff has been important, as the team-only meeting was the sole reason for the postponement of Thursday’s game.
Hyde let the team discuss it on their own, and let them know he’d be supportive of whatever decision they made. First, it was to play Thursday’s game as scheduled. Shortly after, it was to sit out.
“Ultimately, Hyde always says that this is our team and he’s going to support that,” Tate said. “Us having those conversations as players, and players only, is only going to be supported by our staff. They have expressed that. Everybody seems to be on the same page and we’re trying to push forward from this.”
Moving forward, Hyde added he’d be there for whatever the players decide, and that he’d support them completely.
“I’m not feeling sorry for myself in any way,” Hyde said. “I’m the leader of this team. It’s my job to support our players to the utmost, to communicate with our players as well as I possibly can, and I feel like we’ve done that. I’m really proud of our players, I’m proud of how they’ve acted through this whole difficult year.”