Arizona Diamondbacks - TeamReport
MLB Team Report - Arizona Diamondbacks - INSIDE PITCH
Chip Hale, hired as the Arizona Diamondbacks manager Oct. 13, has a statistical goal in mind for his players.
D-backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart held a press conference with Hale in Phoenix to present the seventh manager in franchise history.
"(The 15 percent goal is) just something that I've always thought about since rookie ball," Hale said. "Our mantra was, you look at your team and say, 'OK, this guy is a 30 (on the scouting scale that runs from 20 to 80), well, I'm going to make him a 35. I'm going to make him a 45.'
"You have the present and the future grades. That's where that comes from. If I'm doing the fantasy camp, then by the end of the week, they're going to be better players. In Triple-A, they tell us this guy is a lifetime Triple-A guy, but I wouldn't ever want him to think that. I would want him to play above his talents."
Stewart added, "He was the only one in the interview process that made mention of that 15 percent. To me, that shows that he's going to get in there and grind and pay attention to the small things and even more important, it leads you to believe he's a motivator. He can motivate the kids to play better."
Hale, 49, replaces manager Kirk Gibson, who was fired last month with three games remaining in the season. The Diamondbacks finished with the worst record in the major leagues, 64-98.
According to ESPN.com, Hale was one of four finalists for the Diamondbacks' job, along with former major league manager Jim Tracy, former big leaguer Phil Nevin, who is the manager of Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate in Reno, and Sandy Alomar Jr., the bench coach of the Cleveland Indians.
Other candidates included Jay Bell, Tim Bogar, Andy Green, Joe McEwing and Turner Ward, MLB.com reported.
Hale has no managerial experience at the major league level, but he did manage Arizona's Triple-A team for three seasons. He spent the first 10 years of his coaching career in the Diamondbacks' organization, including being the team's third base coach from 2007-09 under then-manager Bob Melvin.
"It feels like coming home again," Hale said. "We are going to get a culture here about winning, about having fun, about being competitive in the clubhouse, having pride. It is important for me to re-instill this here and get us back where we belong.
"I talk about overachieving, it has always been my thought from rookie league to Triple-A managing to bench coach in Oakland, whoever I was in charge of, I try to get a little more out of each guy. You never know what you can do until you push them a little harder."
Hale has 28 years of professional baseball experience comprised of 16 seasons in a managerial/coaching capacity. He had a 12-year playing career, including seven seasons in the majors.
Most recently, Hale had served as Melvin's bench coach with the Oakland Athletics (2012-14) and Terry Collins' third base coach with the New York Mets (2010-11).
Hale managed a trio of D-backs affiliates over six seasons and owned a combined .562 winning percentage (392-305) with Rookie Advanced Missoula (2000-01), Double-A El Paso (2002) and the Triple-A Tucson (2004-06). His 2006 Tucson team won the Triple-A and Pacific Coast League championships after compiling a franchise-record 92-53 regular-season record and a 7-1 postseason mark, leading to PCL Manager of the Year honors.
Over parts of seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins (1989-90, 1993-96) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1997), Hale hit .277 with seven homers and 78 RBIs in 333 career games.
The Diamondbacks also fired general manager Kevin Towers last month following the team's disappointing season despite a franchise record $112 million payroll.
La Russa then hired Stewart as the general manager and De Jon Watson as senior vice president of baseball operations.