Relationship between Brandon Hyde and Chris Davis will be watched closely after flare-up - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Relationship between Brandon Hyde and Chris Davis will be watched closely after flare-up

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon


BALTIMORE—In Brandon Hyde’s first season as Orioles manager, he’s gotten high marks for running a seemingly placid clubhouse despite the team’s awful record.

He’s volunteered several times, including on Wednesday night, that he and first baseman Chris Davis have a solid relationship.

That relationship and Hyde’s leadership was put to the test in the fifth inning of a game the Orioles would lose 14-2 to the New York Yankees.

Davis and Hyde exchanged words, and Davis had to be restrained from going after Hyde after the manager said something and left the dugout. Hyde removed Davis from the game.

After the game, Hyde downplayed the dispute while Davis wasn’t in the clubhouse to talk about it.

It came at the end of an embarrassing three-game sweep by the New York Yankees. After Monday’s tough loss, Hyde criticized the umpiring and replay crews, saying it was clear that Jace Peterson, who was called out when trying to steal home, had touched home ahead of the tag.

“I thought it was joke, to be honest with you,” Hyde said. “That was pathetic. I’m standing right on the line. It was clear as day to me and as well as the entire crowd on the replay in the stadium. I just thought it changed the whole momentum of the game at that point and I thought it was absolutely pathetic.”

There’s been no word on whether Hyde has been fined for public criticism of the umpires and the replay process.

After Tuesday’s 9-4 loss, Hyde went a different direction, pointing out that the Orioles were at a severe disadvantage talent-wise to the Yankees, who hit five home runs on Monday and six more on Tuesday.

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“This is a results business,” Hyde said. “If you’re going to pitch here, you’ve got to be able to keep the ball in the ballpark. Our numbers don’t lie, what we have. They’re setting all kinds of home runs given up records. ERAs are unbelievably inflated. We just have a long way to go.

“I don’t know what else to say. It’s hard to watch. It’s tough, but you do the best you can and try to get guys better, but we’re not close.”

Hyde’s criticism of the umpiring undoubtedly increased his support in the Orioles’ clubhouse. While few of the players are established major leaguers, they like knowing their manager will stand up for them.

A night later, Hyde appealed to the fan base, which knows that the Orioles’ talent isn’t close to what it needs to be.

For nine years, Orioles fans watched Buck Showalter’s nightly postgame press conferences on MASN. While Showalter was knowledgeable, he was also generally circumspect, rarely doling out public criticism of players.

Showalter was extremely popular in Baltimore, and if Hyde keeps the honest talk coming, he will be popular, too. But improvement in the Orioles’ record will have to come as well.

Now, Hyde is faced with something Showalter never had to deal with, a public dispute with a noted player.

Hyde wouldn’t say what precipitated the argument, but it could have been Davis’ lackadaisical toss of Brett Gardner’s grounder to first to pitcher Miguel Castro, who made the putout for the second out of the fifth inning. Davis also didn’t appear to go all out in pursuing a foul ball that landed just inside the stands.

As Davis struggled through an 0-for-33 streak to begin the season, Hyde was supportive of the first baseman’s work ethic.

Davis, who still has more than three years left on his seven-year, $161 million contract, has played adequate defense at first, despite his offensive ineffectiveness over the past few years.

Hyde has a loud voice, and while genial publicly, was openly frustrated during the three losses to the Yankees. Davis obviously took exception to something Hyde said to him.

After the game, Hyde insisted there was little to the argument, and that the team would move on and be stronger for it.

Oriole fans, many of whom are eager for the team to move on from Davis, will surely remember this night.

Because no one expected the Orioles to be competitive this season, Hyde isn’t being judged on his team’s won-loss record, which is three games better than it was a year ago.

Hyde is trying to keep steady during a potentially traumatizing first year, and helping mentor some players who can help the team improve in 2020 and beyond.

Davis’ future won’t be decided by Hyde. General manager Mike Elias, and John and Louis Angelos will have their say.

During Davis’ long hitless streak, he was cheered by the modest Oriole Park crowds, and he appreciated the support. Davis also praised Hyde.

It will be interesting to see if there’s a public apology from Davis on Friday when the team plays next. It’s expected that Hyde and Davis will talk on Thursday about the incident.

Hyde’s painful first year will continue, but something was different Wednesday night. He was annoyed that a player he publicly defended disappointed him, and his managerial actions will be watched even more closely.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Dblack2508

    August 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    I appreciate Brandon Hyde’s candor of late, this team for the most part plays hard, unlike last years team. Chris Davis must be disciplined to set an example for the younger players. I do hope the Orioles part ways with Davis before they start next season.

    • Dantor

      August 9, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Pay Davis, seeing as we can’t get out the contract. Sit him on the bench, can’t hurt the team any worse than he is with his strike outs and average. Get some young players in from AAA or AA systems and see what they can do. Tried if watching the line-up changing every night. Start getting players in one position and see if they can make it.

  2. Bancells Moustache

    August 8, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Remember when Mayor Young suggested boxing matches as a way of settling street disputes and reducing gun violence? Get me the Angelos boys on the phone, I have a peach of an idea for pre-game entertainment tomorrow!

  3. Hallbe62

    August 8, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    From my perspective, there is no issue here. One guy is the “on-field” boss and the other guy isn’t.

    One guy is paid rather handsomely to do his job ON the field, while the other man is charged with making sure he does just that.

    Maybe it’s the U.S. Marine Corps coming out in me but from where I sit, only 1 of those men was actually doing his job, and it damn sure wasn’t Chris Davis.

    Now before you disagree with what I’ve said, I’m fully aware of the old adage “Admonish in private, and praise in public”.

    If Hyde could be faulted for anything, it’s that. But I say, that’s a very tiny error on Hyde’s part.

    Davis has had this coming for a long long time. And he needs a couple more doses if you ask me.

    This time in Hyde’s office with the doors closed.

    • Dominate The State

      August 8, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Very well said! Thank you for your service!!

  4. Le Merlu

    August 8, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Rich, I’m much too young a baseball fan to be that moderate, but that’s some brilliant take on this episode.

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 8, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you, Le Merlu.

  5. Ekim

    August 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    On the subject of last nights game, I see where they optioned Hess to Norfolk where he should’ve been left after the first time. I’m not sure he could cut it at Fredrick. Just saying…

  6. chico salmon

    August 8, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    The Angelos boys need to be more public (regarding all things Orioles, including Davis, the rebuild, attendance, etc). They need to be seen at the ballpark (not in a secluded skybox). If they want us fans to come, they need to come. They need to elevate their public presence, which wouldn’t take much, since right now it’s nonexistent. Unfortunately, they have adapted the same leadership style as their father, which is the main reason this brand has fallen so much since the Nats came. Louis and John – is anybody home?? You are missing opportunities to lead.

  7. Shamus

    August 8, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Don’t worry Brandon, if Chris swings at you he will miss

  8. J Guy

    August 8, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Go Brandon Davis needs a wake up call. Put him on third for the rest of the year. If things don’t improve pay him off and move into the future,

  9. Bhoffman1

    August 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    The Yankees whom Hyde praised their talent eat Jacob Ellesbury contract. Boston did the same with Ramirez and the fat third baseman who’s name I forget. Everybody on MLB network last night with Harold Reynolds ex Oriole leading the way agreed that it’s time to eat Davis contract. Playing infielders in the outfield when there are outfielders in the minors that can be brought up. Pitching has been pitchers that have no right being in the majors when there are baby birds who I really believe can do better in the minors and keeping Davis just shows me lack of respect for the fan base and I’m surprised Hyde has not blown up sooner at Mr fun season Davis. Any sane manager would.

    • ClayDal

      August 8, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Ellsbury is still with the Yankees-on the 60 day IL. Red Sox ate Sandoval’s contract-about 40 million. Davis’s base salary not counting deferred money is $51 million over the next years plus whatever they owe him this year. Deferred money is $42 million but that is spread out over 15 years, so that won’t be too much of a burden. The Orioles are a small to mid market team unlike the Red Sox and Yankees, so eating over 50 million dollars isn’t as easy. Let’s not forget that the Orioles gave up 14 runs last night-the pitching this year is awful. Once the pitching improves and the outfielders in the system are ready, the Orioles will probably move on from Davis. Until then they probably keep him. It was once said of Ralph Kiner-“ we finished last with you , we can finish last without you”. With Davis it’s the opposite-we would finish last without him, so we might as well finish last with him. Outside of Mason Williams, who can you bring up? Hays when he is healthy. That’s about it

      • Borg

        August 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

        Ok, so bring up Williams, a player with a major league track record of some success at least, PLUS an actual outfielder. Why keep playing Wilkerson anywhere-he is nothing more than a plug-in piece and there are probably dozens of players in the game who could do exactly what he does. He’s hitting worse than Rickard for crying out loud. So cut Davis-the contract will suck whether he’s here or not, move Mancini to first where he belongs and play Williams in center. That only costs the OS whatever Williams would be making, which would probably be the major league minimum. It also sends a bit of a message that just because you are being paid a lot doesn’t guarantee you stay if you suck. Win-win for the Os, they’ll be better without Davis, and maybe Williams plays well enough to draw some interest in the off-season if they wish to unload him for a prospect.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 8, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Hays and Williams are enough plus they ate Ramirez contact and Reynolds last night said that the Yankees eat Ellsbury contract. Maybe you can explain this to me you gotta pay him one way or the other so why keep him when Mancini can be our everyday first baseman or rotate when Mountcastle. I don’t get it.

    • ClayDal

      August 8, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      Harold Reynolds is wrong. Ellsbury is on the IL. Red Sox ate Sandoval’s not Ramirez contract. Loved to see Hays up here but he keeps getting hurt. Where does Mountcastle play? Look, the Orioles are a lot more patient than I would be, but it’s not my money. The major issue with the Orioles now is their pitching. They have no one in AAA, a few in AA that are at least a year away, and several at A that are at least 3-4 years away. Assuming no free agents signings I would project the OF in the next couple years as Santander in LF, Hays in CF, and Diaz in RF. Stewart, Mountcastle, and Mancini as IB/DH types. If the Orioles were competitive, getting rid of Davis would be a no brainer. If the situation with Davis persists they will inevitably have to do something. The ironic thing is that the Orioles awfulness , especially their pitching, has made Davis’s status a moot point

      • ft

        August 9, 2019 at 1:52 pm

        The Red Sox did eat Ramirez’s contract, but only owed him about 20 million for 2018. Not quite the 60M they’re paying Pablo Sandoval to play for the Giants.

    • Camden Brooks

      August 8, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      Well said Clay.

  10. Big bird 64

    August 8, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Eat the contract and cut him. Anybody the O’s call up will only be making the minimum anyway. Say good-bye to Davis; he said good-bye two years ago.

  11. mcgooding

    August 8, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I have been an advocate for Chris Davis through his accomplishments, as well as his struggles. I like fire in a player,but Davis overstepped the line. At this point he’s lucky to get any playing time, and he should use his anger on the field. Brandon Hyde should suspend him, and hopefully Chris Davis can move on next year. He’s a good guy with all of his charitable contributions, but he seems like he’s a cancer to this young club.

  12. Orioles fan 4weaver

    August 8, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Bench Davis for remainder of season or send him on a minor league tour!

    • Camden Brooks

      August 8, 2019 at 9:07 pm

      He can refuse a demotion to the minors.

  13. Bhoffman1

    August 8, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    This is ridiculous, Mason Williams has three hits today plus a homer and is batting 310 and we play three infielders in the outfield.

  14. Choochymsn

    August 9, 2019 at 1:35 am

    O’s are garbage. That was quite embarrassing to watch. Pitching is crap. The may have one or two players that can start on another team. Farm system is crap. Very happy to see that they are going to suck for a long time!

    • Borg

      August 9, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Where do you get that the farm system is crap? It actually is trending in the right direction by any measure. There are several young pitchers who appear to be almost ready-perhaps in Spring Training, perhaps next September during call-ups, but almost certainly by 2021. There is still Mountcastle, Hays, and a few others. Their new #1 pick should be up in 2021 as well. I think you are way off base thinking they’ll suck for a long time. Maybe another year but then the corner will be turned in all likelihood. The Orioles position players are not awful, it is the pitching. If you add two or three solid position players to what’s already here and can find two starters from the group now in the minors to go along with Means and Bundy, they should be competitive again.

    • CalsPals

      August 9, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Wow…go O’s…

  15. Dave Gruber

    August 9, 2019 at 10:42 am

    I for one was glad to Davis show some emotion. With the exception of a few bats snapped over his knee after striking out for the past 3 horrible seasons I’ve not seen what I would think would be the frustration he should be showing. I know he’s not a demonstrative player but I’d like to think he’s more frustrated than he’s showing. I just think it helps to vent rather than keep it inside. But I guess that’s just me.

    • CalsPals

      August 9, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Go after one of your bosses that way & see how long you have a job…go O’s…

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