Two years ago, if you told the average MLB fan that the Baltimore Orioles would be the best team in the AL East, you’d be laughed out of the building. At the time, the Os were the worst team in the MLB. There were even allegations that Baltimore was blatantly tanking! A playoff berth was not even in the equation for them. After narrowly missing the playoffs last season, Baltimore is now on top of the AL.
Now, the Orioles are the best team in the division, and have locked up a playoff spot for the first time since 2016. Baltimore had a solid end to their 2022 season, and they’ve built off of that campaign with a solid year. You wouldn’t think that this was the same team that won just 52 games two years ago and never eclipsed 60 wins the three years before that. Manager Brandon Hyde, who took over as manager during 2018, said that the period of losing felt absolutely awful for him, per USA Today.
“There was pain, a lot of pain,” Brandon Hyde softly tells USA TODAY Sports. “There were a lot of nights I didn’t how I could do it. I felt good about the way I was going about doing things, but when you lose so much, you take it personally.’’
Now, though, the Orioles have come out of the proverbial meat-grinder better than ever. Led by their elite young players, Baltimore is storming through the American League as one of the best teams in MLB. Adley Rutschmann, Gunnar Henderson, and Anthony Santander are among the standout Orioles that have taken the league by storm. Hyde credits his coaching staff for helping the team through the turbulent times.
“We went through the meat-grinder and came out the other side,’’ says Hyde. “It’s tough to turn things around. But during those times, no matter how tough it got, it mattered to me how hard they played. It mattered to me that we had a real positive atmosphere in our clubhouse. I give our coaches a lot of credit for being so positive and even-keel.’’