The A’s were all over bench coach Chip Hale Friday in the second day of workouts at Phoenix’s Papago Park.
In a good way.
It was Hale, who runs the nuts and bolts of the A’s spring training camp, who decided to use side-by-side batting cages on one of the back fields at Papago Park, then to set up a left-handed breaking ball machine on one and a right-handed machine on the other.
Players were able to get through twice as fast, if that was their desire, or to get twice as many swings.
Field baseman Nate Freiman was in the twice-as-much category.
A’s bench coach Chip Hale sat down with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and Seattle scouting director Tom McNamara for about three hours midday Wednesday to talk about Hale’s suitability to become the Mariners’ next manager.
Hale, who has been through the process in Seattle before when the club was looking for a skipper back in 2008, said afterward he thought the interview went “very well;S we talked a lot of baseball,’’ but this is just the first step for Seattle, which is expected to talk to other potential managers in the coming days.
Still, it’s likely a good sign for Hale’s chances that he was interviewed so early in the process.
The Seattle Mariners will interview A’s bench coach Chip Hale about their open managerial job later this morning.
Multiple baseball sources confirmed that Hale, who was one of the finalists for the job the last time it was open in the fall of 2010, will meet Mariners’ general manager Jack Zduriencik. The two men will meet in Phoenix, Zduriencik, coming down from Seattle and Hale coming up from his home in the Tucson area.
Josh Donaldson went diving over the tarp in foul territory behind third base in what turned out to be a futile pursuit of a ninth inning foul ball that, if caught, would have ended Sunday’s game.
The batter, Mike Moustakas, grounded out to end it a few moments later, but Donaldson said he had no regrets about throwing his body out in pursuit of the foul pop fly.
“It was the last out,’’ he said. “Of course I’m going to go for it there.’’
The A’s introduced their new line of television commercials to the media Saturday morning, and the early Star Power award goes to third base coach Mike Gallego.
Without giving too much away, Gallego was asked to handle a tarantula and a possum for the sports, and he did so without yelping, which I’m reasonably certain I would have done.
Sad to say, the tarantula didn’t make it into the final cuts, although the blooper reel shows a rather formidable arachnid making his presence felt.
The possum isn’t an animal I’d particularly want to pick up, although Gallego makes it work.
The first of the commercials, Pie Alternatives, is already online at www.oakland.athletics.mlb.com and debuts today in the Bay Area. This first commercial geatures Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick. It is a play on the frequent post-game pie celebrations that marked the A’s American League West title season of 2012 as the A’s try to go beyond simple pies to the face.
Others featured in the commercials are pitcher Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Jarrod Parker, outfielder Chris Young, coach Chip Hale, manager Bob Melvin and an actor playing a guru who gets off the best line of anyone at Crisp’s expense.
Just because the regular season ends doesn’t mean the A’s news stops …
Chip Hale was announced as the team’s new bench coach Wednesday, replacing Joel Skinner. It’s a good local story. Hale, 46****, was born in San Jose and went to Campolindo High in Moraga, about a 20-minute drive from the Coliseum. He served as the New York Mets’ third base/infield coach for the past two seasons, and he was a finalist to be their manager in 2011 before Terry Collins was hired. Not surprisingly, he has a history with A’s manager Bob Melvin, having served as Melvin’s third base/infield coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2007-09. Melvin had said he wanted to bring in coaches he was familiar with, and I’d say that’s especially true of a bench coach, who serves as the manager’s right-hand man and takes over the club if the skipper gets ejected. Hale received a two-year deal, by the way.
That leaves three spots on Melvin’s staff left to fill — hitting coach, pitching coach and bullpen coach (though Rick Rodriguez is a candidate to return in that last role).
Check out Chip Hale’s stats from his playing career if you like …