In a recent article on MLB.com, Diamondbacks beat writer Steve Gilbert talked with new manager Chip Hale about his passions as a competitor which is being experienced by this year’s Fantasy Camp participants.
Hale described himself as “I was that guy in P.E. class that everybody didn’t like, because if we were playing basketball or softball, I was always trying to win. If it was dodge ball, I was the guy just smoking people and catching the ball and getting my guys in.”
Obviously a competitive guy reaching far back to his days at the National Championship baseball program at the University of Arizona in 1986 followed by a seven year MLB career. Hale reportedly told Chief Baseball Officer (CBO) Tony LaRussa and GM Dave Steward that he wanted to make every player on the current roster 15 percent better as a professional goal this season.
Impressed by this notion, and the courage to express the idea during the interview process with the Arizona Diamondbacks, GM Dave Steward remarked after hiring Chip Hale saying “He was the only one in the interview process that made mention of that 15 percent,”.
Steward went on further adding, “To me, that shows that he’s going to get out 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.”
Chip Hale brings the same winning attitude to Fantasy camp, his first being in 2006. Despite being labeled as “over the top” about winning, his goals about improving every person at camp mirror his professional approach to professional baseball players.
He brings a regimented take on Fantasy Camp, scheduling a participants day “down to the very minute” as related by a former fantasy-camper named Bucky Green, who first played under Hale’s guidance at camp in 2006 and 2007.
This approach might seem a bit drastic, but the results speak for themselves. Of the squads managed by Chip Hale in the four years he managed, three won the Championship while the fourth made it to the Championship game only to lose the game.
With this kind of competitive nature, and the will to succeed, it certainly bodes well for this 2015 Arizona Diamondbacks squad.
Hopefully we’ll see the results of Chip Hale’s attitude for continual improvement as the Arizona Diamondbacks try to improve upon a dismal 2014 season.