Now that the Toronto Blue Jays finally have their new manager (who happened to be their old manager) in place in the form of John Gibbons, the task of filling out the rest of the coaching positions is speeding right along – the team has hired DeMarlo Hale as its new bench coach, after interviewing him for the position earlier this week:
Source says #Jays have hired DeMarlo Hale from Orioles as bench coach.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 24, 2012
In Hale, the Blue Jays are getting a bench coach who has years of experience deep within enemy territory: he will be departing the Baltimore Orioles‘ coaching staff to join Gibbons in Toronto; prior to that, Hale worked with – guess who – John Farrell as a member of the Boston Red Sox staff under then-manager Terry Francona.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm calls Hale “a well-respected baseball man” who was a “a lauded addition” to Buck Showalter‘s coaching staff in Baltimore last season, and the Blue Jays’ move to hire the man is generally being hailed around the baseball world as a winning one:
If the Jays steal DeMarlo Hale away from the Orioles to be bench coach, it will be a significant coup. Why isn’t he signed in Baltimore?
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) November 20, 2012
While the actual reasons for what Hale brings to the table remain in line with the type of vague terms so often used to describe baseball coaches (“good communicator”, “knows how to work with a staff, “smart baseball man”, etc.), he’s someone who has been on the Blue Jays’ radar in the past, having been considered a finalist for the managerial job that eventually went to Farrell a couple of seasons ago.
The hiring of Hale is not without its question marks, though; not so much about the new bench coach himself, but about the man that he’s replacing – Don Wakamatsu:
If Hale does get brought on board by #BlueJays it would be hard to envision a scenario in which Wakamatsu returns.
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) November 24, 2012
Unsurprisingly, the Baltimore Sun is already naming Wakamatsu as one of the potential candidates to replace Hale in Baltimore.
Baseball’s circle of life at work, I suppose.