BALTIMORE—Brandon Hyde had to wait an extra day for his fifth home opener as the Orioles’ manager, and he can relate to the heightened fan interest.
“People are excited to watch us play, and that’s exciting for our players, our coaches and people in the clubhouse,” Hyde said. “Coming off a year last year when we exceeded expectations by a lot. We have a lot of talent in the clubhouse. Our guys are super excited to play in front of our home fans.”
In each of Hyde’s five seasons, the Orioles have opened on the road.
“I would love to have a home opener here where it’s the first game of the year,” Hyde said. “That would be a lot of fun.”
Hyde has noticed that his interactions with fans have changed.
“Just walking around last night and yesterday … a lot more people come up to you about your club,” he said. “That’s really nice. You want your fan base to feel good about their team and you want people to be excited and want to watch your club. I think it’s uplifting for the city, too, more fun to watch and people are following us and like our players.”
Hyde thought last July’s 10-game winning streak was a turning point.
“That put us on the map nationally,” he said. “People started paying attention to us at that point. They saw that we were talented, and hadn’t seen us much until that point.
“I’m not changing. We’ve handled everything the same every single day. It’s still a long way to go and there’s a lot of things that can happen in the next almost six months … We’re more talented, but we also play in a really, really tough division. Everybody in the American League has gotten better, and we’re very aware of that. I don’t want to our guys to think about last year or raising expectations about themselves except trying to win every single night. That’s always been the MO.”
Notes: Catcher James McCann, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a left oblique muscle strain, will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Aberdeen on Friday night. … Reliever Mychal Givens, who’s on the 15-day injured list because of a right knee injury, will throw a side session in Sarasota on Saturday. … Hyde hasn’t decided on his starter for Sunday. … Triple-A infielder Cadyn Grenier, who went 3-for-3 in his only game this season, has retired.