This morning in the recaps I highlighted a quote from Dbacks manager Chip Hale in which he highlighted the fact that new Marlins manager Dan Jennings declined to bring in a righty to face A.J. Pollock, who then proceeded to hit the go-ahead homer off of Jennings’ lefty.
In my mind I wondered if there wasn’t an element of schadenfreude present in Hale’s comments. Was Hale, a longtime player, coach and manager before getting his big league job making a subtle comment about Jennings’ inexperience? Was he, in whatever small way he could, speaking up for the scores of qualified, uniformed men up and down baseball’s ladder who aren’t getting the chance that was handed to Jennings? Maybe, I thought. Or maybe I was just reading too much into to.
This afternoon Hale appeared on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden. And based on his comments, I’m now inclined to think that what he said last night had some purpose behind it:
Bowden: “What were your thoughts when Dan Jennings went from GM, with no coaching/managing experience, to manage the Marlins? What were your thoughts?”
Chip Hale: “I think it’s frustrating in a way for guys who’ve done it. I’ve said this before, when you finish playing or get into Major League Baseball on the minor league level you say, ‘Ok, what do I want to do? Ok, I want to manage in the big leagues. What do I have to do? I’m going to go back, I’m going to bust my hump coaching and teaching and become the best manager at the minor league level that I can, then get to the big leagues, do your job coaching and hope to get an opportunity to do this. It’s not looking like that track is going to be the way to go anymore.
Hale allowed for the possibility that the Marlins situation was unique inasmuch as it was aimed at “lighting a fire,” and he allowed for the real new trend in managing not to be no-experience hires but, rather, former major leaguers like Brad Ausmus or Mike Matheney.
But you can’t help but think Hale and others who busted their humps the way he described and the way they were always told they had to bust their humps are a bit upset.