Hale is D-backs' choice for skipper

Most recently A's bench coach, he managed six seasons in Arizona system

Hale is D-backs' choice for skipper

PHOENIX -- The D-backs introduced Chip Hale as their new manager on Monday. A ferocious competitor, Hale replaces Kirk Gibson, who was dismissed with three days remaining in the 2014 season and the team on its way to a 64-98 record.

"It was just the completeness of his background and the way he presented himself," chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said of Hale. "We were looking for a leader and a guy who loves baseball, and there wasn't a box he didn't have checked."

Hale, who most recently was bench coach for the A's, managed in the D-backs system for six seasons before joining the big league staff as third-base coach, a position he held from 2007-09.

After leaving the D-backs following the 2009 season, he was the third-base coach for the Mets in 2010-11 before becoming Bob Melvin's bench coach with Oakland.

Melvin has raved about the 49-year-old Hale's level of preparedness as his bench coach and has pushed for him to get a managing opportunity.

"Your style is going to be dictated by the personnel you have," Hale said. "I've managed teams that have been athletically inclined and can run, and we run a lot and do different things, and other teams that sat back and can hit a little bit. I'd like this team to be situationally sound, so I would like us to have everything in that bag, like a golf bag. We've got to be able to do everything."

MLB Tonight: Chip Hale

The team acknowledged that there were nine candidates for the position: Sandy Alomar Jr., Jay Bell, Tim Bogar, Andy Green, Hale, Joe McEwing, Phil Nevin, Jim Tracy and Turner Ward.

"We wanted a guy with energy," general manager Dave Stewart said. "We wanted a guy that was optimistic and will energize our ballclub, but as well be a part of the culture moving forward in the Diamondbacks organization."

With La Russa being hired to the newly created position of chief baseball officer last May and general manager Stewart and vice president of baseball operations De Jon Watson being hired in late September, the D-backs will have a completely new baseball leadership team heading into the 2015 season.

Winning has long been a part of Hale's resume.

In his first year as a professional manager, in 2000, Hale led Rookie-level Missoula to a second-half championship, and he was named the Pioneer League's Manager of the Year the following season.

He led Tucson to Pacific Coast League and Triple-A titles in 2006 with a 91-53 mark and had a .540 winning percentage in three seasons with the team.

Hale starred collegiately at the University of Arizona from 1984-87, starting every game during his college career, and he established school career records for hits and walks. He batted .345 in 1986, when UA won the College World Series.

Hale was selected by the Twins in the 17th round of the 1987 First-Year Player Draft and spent parts of six seasons with them and one with the Dodgers, compiling a .277 career batting average in 333 games.

Hale becomes the sixth full-time manager in D-backs history, joining Buck Showalter, Bob Brenly, Melvin, A.J. Hinch and Gibson. Al Pedrique was an interim manager in 2004.

In recent years, Hale's name has come up in relation to several big league managerial vacancies and he was believed to be the runner-up when the Mets hired Terry Collins following the 2010 season.

"This is the perfect job for me and my family, and that is important to me to be here, and it's important to me to get this organization," Hale said. "We're going to set a culture here about winning, about having fun, about being competitive in the clubhouse, having pride. And that's important for me to instill in us here and get us back to where we belong."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.