Orioles' reported managerial candidates not high-profile ones - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ reported managerial candidates not high-profile ones

Photo credit: Kim Klement/USAToday Sports


When the famed screenwriter, William Goldman, died last month, I was reminded of his iconic quote. “Nobody knows anything” Goldman, who was most noted for work on “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and “All the President’s Men,” was also a sports aficionado who once wrote a book on the New York Mets.

Goldman’s quote referred to Hollywood. No one knows what will work there, he believed, but these days his thinking can apply to the Baltimore Orioles.

Four prospective candidates for Orioles manager were reported this weekend, and few in Birdland know anything about them.

New Orioles GM Mike Elias has been tight-lipped about the search, saying last week that he had a “great list” of candidates.

Three of the names: Pedro Grifol, Chip Hale and Brandon Hyde were reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and another, Mike Bell, was reported by Peter Gammons.

More names will be reported, but these four were not on lists of the usual suspects.

None was a standout big league player. Grifol and Hyde never played in the majors. Bell played just 19 games in 2000, and Hale parts of seven seasons.

None has any ties to the Orioles, nor to the American League East, and there aren’t obvious ties to Elias.

It’s clear that Elias is going to choose a manager his way, with full autonomy. He won’t grant a courtesy interview to a former Orioles player, coach or current minor league manager just because they’re seemingly deserving.


Elias’ decisions won’t be sentimental. While the Orioles still might have interest in catcher Caleb Joseph at a reduced rate, Joseph was not tendered a contract because the team thought that at an estimated $1.7 million, his arbitration price was too high.

The new GM doesn’t have ties to Joseph, who had the second most service time with the club. Nor does he have ties to outfielder Adam Jones. Fan favorites such as Jones and Joseph won’t count for much in the new Orioles way.

Of this low-profile group of managerial candidates, Hale, who is pictured above, is the most well known. He managed the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 and 2016 and had a record of 148-176. He’s the bench coach for the Washington Nationals.

At the Nats’ Winterfest on Sunday, Hale didn’t proclaim direct interest in the Orioles’ job in comments to reporters, but said that he’d like a chance to manage again.

“Let’s just put it this way, there’s 30 jobs, you know? And if you get the opportunity, it’s a blessing,” Hale said.

Hyde has been a coach with Miami and the Chicago Cubs, working with Joe Maddon the past four years. He was considered for openings for the Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays this fall.

Grifol is a quality control and catching coach for Kansas City and managed in the minor leagues for Seattle.

Bell’s brother, David, filled one of the five other managerial openings, in Cincinnati. Mike Bell is the director of player development for Arizona and has coached and managed in the Diamondbacks’ organization. The Bells’ father, Buddy, was a longtime major league manager.

Including Bell’s hiring, four of the five openings filled this fall have gone to first-timers. Rocco Baldelli (Minnesota), Charlie Montoya (Toronto) and Chris Woodward (Texas) are the others. The Angels hired Brad Ausmus, who managed Detroit from 2014-17.

It’s clear that the trend is away from high-profile, big personality managers such as Buck Showalter and Dusty Baker. Two other veteran managers, John Farrell and Joe Girardi, who each won a World Series, haven’t taken another job, yet.

Unless Elias moves quickly, the Orioles won’t fill their vacancy until after the Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday in Las Vegas. Last year, Girardi’s replacement with the New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, was hired just before the Winter Meetings, after a lengthy search.

With trading season under way, it will be interesting to see how much interest there is in Oriole players in Vegas. The Orioles don’t have the pieces to participate in a blockbuster trade, but since Elias hasn’t added a player to the major league roster since he was hired on Nov. 16, it’s unclear what areas he’s looking to bolster.

The Orioles will certainly participate in the Rule 5 draft, which ends the Winter Meetings on Dec. 13, and will surely talk with agents, though Elias probably is looking for bargains and those signings may come later rather than sooner.

With the team currently without a minor league or scouting director and only one key aide to Elias hired, analytics guru Sig Mejdal, Elias could interview possible front office hires and managers in Las Vegas.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. boss61

    December 3, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I’m not sure how to react. Maybe the identity of one of these managers vs. another is not as critical as scouting and player development decisions.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      Mark, there’s no guarantee one of them will be the manager.

  2. BaltimoreBasebal

    December 3, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Ron Washington

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      I haven’t heard his name as a candidate anywhere in a while, BB.

  3. jimcarter

    December 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Thank goodness Elias isn’t being sentimental. The record setting failure this season should signal that this mess needs to be torn down to the ground. Why would he want to reach back to those who were part of two consecutive last place finishes just to give some fans and media members warm, fuzzy feelings?

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      I agree with you, jimcarter.

  4. bmorebirds

    December 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Wonder what’s up with Astros bench coach Joe Espada. He had a couple of manager interviews that went nowhere and now he’s not even on Elias’ short list?? Pretty sure Elias is going to anoint Brady Anderson our next manager . . .

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      There are more candidates than the four mentioned. I think the manager will not be one with Orioles ties, bmorebirds.

      • bmorebirds

        December 3, 2018 at 5:08 pm

        No, no Orioles ties, Rich, lol. Which is a shame, because I’m sure there are sharp people worthy of consideration. But 115 losses tends to leave an organization-wide taint.

  5. jkneps63

    December 3, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Unlike players and all of their available statistics, it is difficult, for me at least, to determine the effectiveness of coaches and managers from their available statistics on a site like thebaseballcube – thank goodness Sig is on board with the Orioles to figure a quantitative analysis of candidates for coaching and managing positions.

    Of the 4 listed in this article, the organization (Cubs) that Brandon Hyde has been with the organization that has had the most success recently – but I don’t know if the Cubs’ success, or how much of, it is due to Brandon Hyde. I suppose being 1st base coach for 3 years and bench coach for 1 year under Joe Maddon is very good experience. He played primarily catcher in college and in the minors and also was a hitting coach for 2 years in the minors, additional valuable experience IMO.

    If I had to pick a favorite of the 4 listed, I would go with Brandon Hyde…Elias from the 2017 WS Champs, Hyde from the 2016 WS Champs, that might even get me out to a game or two in 2019! Go Orioles!

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      Jkneps, I have no clue which way they’re leaning. I’m sure there are other candidates involved, too.

  6. cedar

    December 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    What is the role of a Quality Control coach?

    I admit that none of these names sound “exciting” but I’m glad not to read the old guard names of yesteryear.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 7:10 pm

      The Orioles have never had a quality control coach, but others have, and there’s not a specific role attached to it. Some work on defensive positioning. Some work with the analytics departments. Others help out whatever areas–pitching, hitting, catching–need addtional manpower.

  7. BirdsCaps

    December 3, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    As someone who follows baseball (the entire sport, not just the O’s) pretty closely, I have to say that only a few of these names sounded familiar, and vaguely familiar at that. With that said, is Elias just looking for an empty suit to fill a role for a few years or is the autonomy and importance of the manager going to be reduced (leaning so heavy on analytics that the manager has minimal input). Either way, they are certainly going in a different direction than a Buck type.

    • Rich Dubroff

      December 3, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      BirdsCaps, I don’t know exactly what Mike Elias is looking for. He wants someone who is comfortable with analytics, but until I see the manager at work during spring training, I won’t really be able to define them.


    December 4, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I bet whoever it is will:

    #1 Work CHEAP.

    #2 Listen to the analytics people 100% when they tell him what to do.


    December 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

    At this point, I am not sure how much it matters who manages this team. This team is not going to be competitive for at least a year. I like the idea that Bordick, Dempsey and others are not candidates
    There are a LOT of very good managers who never played in the majors and were not big names (Showalter, LaRussa, Alston, Leyland, Cox, etc.).

    • OsfaninNC

      December 4, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Don’t forget The Earl of Baltimore—-he was a pretty good one. Never hit the majors

  10. Jacobs1928

    December 4, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    A manager is a important decision maker but the real important decision a manager
    Can make is the selection of the coaches..they are the ones who can help develop
    Talent… To me that is important in the current stage of the O’s ..so..I hope he GM
    Considers coach selection as well as Manager

  11. Jacobs1928

    December 7, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    I do not know the exacts that the new GM wants in a Manager…however, I hope that he
    Knows the exacts in the coaches needed for this forthcoming team. Being a non O’s
    Person he should take the team to the O’s background…when we had winningteam
    And wonderful support… Therefore, I suggest and push for Bordick to become the
    New Manager..he knows baseball, he is respected by the O’s fans…he would be a great
    Manager to deal with a young team..why? Because he has been observing and commenting about the O’s give him a chance to raise a team to one in which he was a

  12. Hallbe62

    December 11, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Rick Dempsey has forgotten more about baseball than all those names combined.

    I know, I know……he’s OLD and a former Oriole. So that’s 2 strikes against him. But he should have already gotten the job a long time ago. Before Buck even.

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