Both Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore and MASN's Dan Kolko are reporting this afternoon that sources told them the Nationals interviewed DeMarlo Hale in recent weeks in their attempt to find the sixth manager since baseball returned to Washington, D.C. in 2005.
Hale is currently the Toronto Blue Jays' bench coach under John Gibbons. Hale, 52, who played five minor league seasons (1983-88) in the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics' organizations, has managed at every level of the minor leagues starting at Single-A in 1995.
After leading the Double-A Trenton Thunder to a 92-50 record in 1999, Hale was, "... named the Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America, Sporting News and USA Today," as WEEI's Alex Speier noted when the Red Sox interviewed potential replacements for Bobby Valentine in 2012.
Hale has coached in the majors as well before joining the Blue Jays' staff, serving as the Texas Rangers' first base and outfield coach from 2002-2005; the Red Sox' third base coach from 2006-2009; the Sox' bench coach from 2010-2011 and the Baltimore Orioles' third base coach in 2012.
Hale's name came up in the Nationals' last manager search in 2011, before Davey Johnson decided to stay on to guide the Nats after taking over for Jim Riggleman. As Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo wrote at the time, Hale had a strong backer in the Nats' organization in Special Assistant to GM Mike Rizzo, Bob Schaefer, who was the Red Sox' Director of Player Development when Hale managed in Trenton.
As the Washington Post's Mr. Kilgore noted, Hale is now the fifth candidate confirmed to have interviewed for the Nationals' managerial opening and the third from outside the organization. Nats' bench coach Randy Knorr and third base coach Trent Jewett, Arizona Diamondbacks' third base coach Matt Williams and San Diego Padres' executive Brad Ausmus have previously been named as candidates who interviewed for the job in recent weeks.
The WaPost reporter notes in the article that the Nationals, "... admired Hale’s career and consider him a viable candidate," and a source said, "Hale impressed [the] Nationals officials during his interview."
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