Brandon Hyde and Davey Martinez have spent countless days on the same fields, but Tuesday night was the first time they found themselves managing against one another.
Before heading to the nation’s capital to manage the Washington Nationals, Martinez coached under Joe Maddon with the Chicago Cubs from 2015-17. Brandon Hyde was also in Chicago during those years, coaching first base and then succeeding Martinez as Maddon’s bench coach prior to his hire in Baltimore last offseason.
While both figures are competitive enough to not need any added motivation against the opposing team, it’s still a fun moment for the two longtime friends to appreciate.
“Oh, he’s awesome,” Martinez told reporters in the visitor’s dugout before Tuesday’s game when asked about his relationship with Hyde. “I know him and his family very well, almost like family of mine. When we got in town we had dinner together, so it was kind of fun.”
Martinez went on to emphasize he knows Hyde will be playing to win, too.
“Obviously we both know he’s very competitive,” Martinez continued. “He knows that we want to win and he wants to win, so put everything aside. We’re going to compete.”
Despite the difference in records and team expectations in 2019, Hyde was pretty clear about his desire to take down his former colleague.
“Obviously me and Dave are very close friends and I wish him all the success in the world,” Hyde echoed during his own pregame availability. “But obviously I hope we beat them these next couple games.”
Martinez is not the only National to have a relationship with Hyde.
“Davey’s over there, Henry Blanco’s very close friend of mine, Joe Dillon the hitting coach I played with in high school, so I have some close relationships on that staff,” Hyde said.
Martinez knows the Nats can’t let their guard down against weaker opponents, Orioles included. As he put it, the Nationals “gotta come out and play baseball like we always do.”
And yet, even though each manager is putting his best foot forward to try to win the game, same as every other night of the season, it’s hard to ignore the unique relationship between the two.
For most, it’s just another night of baseball. But as Brandon Hyde put it most simply, “this will be a little bit different managing against Davey on the other side.”
Orioles-Nationals has yet to fully develop into a true rivalry, but perhaps a few more games that feel just “a little bit different” will help one blossom going forward.
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