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Hale focused on teaching D-backs 'winning baseball'

New manager excited for Spring Training, working with La Russa
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- The early days of Spring Training workouts might last a little longer for the D-backs this year under first-year manager Chip Hale.

"I think if we do it the right way, it may be longer, but we're not going to be standing around," Hale said. "I think players, as long as they're not standing around, looking around, looking at the sky, they're fine with staying out there as long as it takes. So as long as we have a lot of action going on, I think they'll be OK. That's up to me and our staff to obviously teach them the right way and also to plan the day where there's a lot of movement and guys are getting their work done."

PHOENIX -- The early days of Spring Training workouts might last a little longer for the D-backs this year under first-year manager Chip Hale.

"I think if we do it the right way, it may be longer, but we're not going to be standing around," Hale said. "I think players, as long as they're not standing around, looking around, looking at the sky, they're fine with staying out there as long as it takes. So as long as we have a lot of action going on, I think they'll be OK. That's up to me and our staff to obviously teach them the right way and also to plan the day where there's a lot of movement and guys are getting their work done."

This will be Tony La Russa's first Spring Training as the team's chief baseball officer, and he has said often that one of the reasons he was hired was to "tweak" the way the team plays the game.

La Russa plans to stay out of Hale's way and will make sure that the team understands that it is Hale -- and not La Russa -- who is in charge. However, La Russa will have a big hand in what the organization decides to teach its players from the lower rungs of the Minor Leagues right up to the Majors.

"It's going to be real clear once Spring Training starts that the Major League club will be coached by the manager and the staff," La Russa said. "Chip is going to run the team, he's the leader. I'm going to be a resource."

It appears Hale has already been using that resource and that he also welcomes input from Dave Duncan, who serves as the team's pitching advisor and was La Russa's longtime pitching coach.

"He'll have a huge impact," Hale said of La Russa. "I mean, we want to build Spring Training out of my experiences with Bob [Melvin] and where I've been and [La Russa's] experiences building World Series champions. I want all the input I can get from him and Dave Duncan. I think [it wouldn't be] very smart if I didn't take their advice. He's been really good about just suggestions of things that he thought really helped their clubs to get off to better starts and stuff like that."

Glenn Sherlock, who is moving from third-base coach to bench coach this year, will be responsible for coordinating the daily camp schedule.

"My basic message to them is we're just going to start from ground zero and build this team," Hale said. "What we want as a group is to teach them winning baseball, just to get that message out to them. Some of it might be remedial to some guys and some guys it's stuff they've never heard, but we want to teach every part of the game and be real thorough with that."

Video: Chip Hale, Dave Stewart on D-backs coaching staff

Since being hired last month, Hale has tried to reach every player by phone and has talked in person with those players who live in the Phoenix area and work out at the team's Salt River Fields complex.

It's possible that as the offseason continues Hale may fly to see other players, especially the veterans, so he can start to get to know them better and vice versa.

In the past, former D-backs players like Mike Morgan, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley have made appearances at Spring Training, and Hale would like to see even more return.

"Whoever we can get to come out, whether it's the whole time, whether it's a week at a time, we'd like to use those guys," Hale said. "Because players listen to guys who have done well in the Major Leagues. That's just a fact."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks