The Arizona Diamondbacks could write a book on the highs and mostly lows of 2014.
What started with spring training optimism following some much-needed roster additions last winter quickly disintegrated after key injuries, underperforming players and at times, just bad luck led to an MLB-worst 98-loss season and front office shakeup.
Monday another chapter was penned with the hiring of Chip Hale who takes over as manager following the dismissal of Kirk Gibson before the final three games of the season.
OFFICIAL: Chip Hale has been named the 7th manager in #Dbacks history.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 13, 2014
“I learned all my coaching in Arizona,” Hale said during his opening comments when introduced to the media Monday afternoon. “This is the perfect job for me and my family. It is important to me to get this organization…back to where we belong.”
Hale reportedly finished as the runner-up for previous managerial openings with the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets but beat out eight others who interviewed for the position here in Arizona. He is believed to be under contract for two years.
The former University of Arizona player, who still resides with his family in Tucson, spent a decade in the Diamondbacks’ organization and most recently served as bench coach for the Oakland A’s under former D-Backs’ skipper Bob Melvin.
“He was the first one to show confidence in me and make me a major league coach,” Hale explained. “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here today.”
New General Manager Dave Stewart believes the hiring of Hale is a home run.
“Once the process was over with it was very, very clear that we picked the right guy to lead our ball club.”
Only time will tell if Hale will one day bring a happy ending to this story.