By Cuyler Meade
There’s no question, the Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a frustrating start.
Some things have gone well, but many other things have gone poorly.
When high-expectation teams stumble out of the gate, it’s easy to look to the skipper with concern about the job he’s doing.
But, at least according to ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez, it’s not likely that’s happening inside the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse with manager Chip Hale.
“Chip Hale has, according to everybody I’ve talked to, publicly, privately, the players, he has immense respect, and that’s all you can ask for,” Gomez told Sports360az.com during his weekly visit.
This D-Backs team is accustomed to struggling, coming off a lackluster 79-win season in 2015. But Gomez says that hasn’t dimmed the affection the players feel for Hale. They appreciate his attitude.
“Every Diamondback I’ve talked to, going back to last year, really likes the energy that Chip Hale brings, and the fighting spirit that he brings to that clubhouse,” Gomez said. “And I think that’s something that, as much as Kirk Gibson was known as a fiery player, Kirk Gibson was also a superstar player. Chip Hale was never a superstar player. Chip Hale was always fighting for his major-league life every single year. And I think a lot of times clubs play to the image of their manager.”
Gomez said the team’s scrappiness trickled down from the top.
“They were going to fight for everything,” Gomez said of last year’s team. “And that’s how Chip Hale was as a player, and it’s no surprise that the club is kind of taking on that personality.”
While continued struggles might breed frustration, for now, at least, the relationship between players and managers seems strong.
“Everybody I’ve spoken to in that clubhouse absolutely loves the way Chip Hale handles the club,” Gomez said.