Diamondbacks: Chip Hale’s Extension Bodes Well


General Manager Dave Stewart had a busy offseason, and by trading some of the best prospects in their system, he has proved the team is in a “win now” mode. With Hale under helm, the Diamondbacks’ winning will come sooner rather than later.

For the past four seasons, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been without a winless record. In two of those seasons, they have ended up with an even 81-81 record. Diamondback fans last year went through the ritual: high hopes for the upcoming year, followed by a discouraging, long six months. They were winless, again.

To no one’s surprise, the Diamondbacks fell in the standings, and their NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers went on to capture a third consecutive division title. Looking past the numbers, last year was different. Same losing record, different feeling.

Under first-year manager Chip Hale, the Diamondbacks tacked on 15 more wins and increased their win percentage from .395 to .488, as they finished with an 79-83 record. Courtesy of the strong efforts in 2015, the Diamondbacks announced on February 18 that Chip Hale would have his contract extended through the 2017 season. The news broke on the day of their first workout for pitchers and catchers.

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Hale, who spent most of his big league tenure with the Minnesota Twins, began working with the Diamondbacks in 2007 as a third-base coach under Bob Melvin. In 2010, Hale was hired to be the New York Mets third-base coach, and did so for two seasons. Hale reunited with Melvin, serving as his bench coach with the Oakland Athletics from 2012-2014. On October 13, 2014, Chip Hale was hired to be the Diamondbacks eighth manager in club history.

When Hale returns to the dugout, ready to gear up for his second season with the Diamondbacks, his team will have high expectations. Stewart’s offseason consisted of him reeling in two of the most elite pitchers in the game, as well as an All-Star shortstop.

High expectations are quickly followed by the risk of a let-down, or a disappointing season. But, if history repeats itself, as it tends to do, the Diamondbacks are in good company with Hale, and extending him serves the Diamondbacks well for the immediate future.

In 2006, when Hale was the manager for the Tucson Sidewinders, the Triple-A affiliate of the DBacks, he lead his team to a 91-53 record, as they went on to sweep the Round Rock Express in a best-of-five championship series.

In Oakland, Hale enjoyed three straight seasons of playoff baseball as a part of the coaching staff. His track record proves that Hale is familiar with, and expects to be a part of, a winning environment. Hale’s hard-working, energetic, and competitive reputation is sure to bring the Diamondbacks a taste of success for the next several years.

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The rest of the league is already on the lookout, and rightfully so, because the Arizona Diamondbacks possess a win-now mentality under Chip Hale that could wreak havoc for the NL West.