ARLINGTON – If time travel was possible and DeMarlo Hale could pick up on conversations he had with Indian manager Terry Francona last winter right after he was hired to be the bench coach, he doesn’t think so that he would have considered serving as a coach. the team’s interim manager for more than two months of the season.
“My mind coming into spring training was more of what I had heard, what I needed to see and understand and put myself in a position to help this organization and the players,” Hale said. . “It turned after the All-Star break.”
At the end of July, Francona announced that he would be retiring for the remainder of the season to undergo two surgeries, one on the hip and one on the foot, to improve his declining quality of life. This left the team in Hale’s hands – something he didn’t expect, but a transition he said he was prepared for.
“I adjusted quite well once I jumped,” said the 60-year-old. “I had a great conversation with Tito before he left for medical issues. We touched on some important things. I won’t share this, but it was very refreshing to hear from him, but also to understand what his situation was, and I jumped in with both feet.
Since then, Hale has gone 30-33 as an interim manager, with only one game remaining Sunday afternoon in Texas. Although Francona is expected to return in 2022, forcing Hale to return to his role as bench coach, Hale still has a lot to take away from his time as the club’s skipper, including learning that it wasn’t that dramatic of a transition.
“There have been challenges,” Hale said. “I mean, yeah, it’s been a good experience, but it’s not an experience that upset me either, let me say it. I don’t know if it’s being old and wise or young and naive, you put that twist on it.
So what does this experience mean for Hale’s future? The Indians have the offseason to work on their staffing plans, especially with Francona’s health situation. However, it is likely that Hale will return to his bench coaching position if no further offers arise. But did his stint as an interim manager reinforce the idea that he would eventually want to become a manager?
“I don’t think so,” Hale said. “And I’m saying out of respect for these organizations, they’re going to dig into who they think is right to run an organization. There have been a number of times that I have interviewed for positions so I mean I think industries know there is a name out there that we are interested in hearing his thoughts in. the interview process.
“So I see it like that in terms of you can’t send your resume to organizations to apply for a job… They kind of call you. So with that, I did that. There aren’t many years left either. You’re at that age when you’re not young, so it’s someone else’s decision.