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D-backs’ La Russa understands Chip Hale’s short post-game fuse

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: Tony La Russa, Diamondbacks chief baseball officer

San Francisco Giants starter Tim Hudson was simply masterful in his outing Tuesday night at Chase Field.

The 40-year-old right-hander scattered four hits and allowed one run in the Giants’ 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The performance left manager Chip Hale in a salty mood following the contest.

Hale was asked by a reporter in his post-game press conference if Hudson was just that good, or if the D-backs used a less than great approach at the plate.

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“Not a great approach,” Hale asked incredulously. “Is that what you’re saying, you don’t think we had a good approach?”

The reporter said that’s what he was asking.

“You made that comment, so you said it,” Hale said. “You’ve got to own it. He was good tonight. He did a good job.

“Our coaches do a pretty good job every night, taking apart what (an opposing pitcher) is going to do. So our approach was solid. I don’t think we appreciate that comment, that doesn’t fly with me.”

Emotions aside, it was a fair question posed to the first-year manager. But the D-backs’ 12th loss in the last 16 games may have factored in Hale’s response.

D-backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa knows what Hale is going through. In 33 years as a manager, the Hall-of-Famer often walked the tightrope of emotions after a game when dealing with the media.

“I’m very pleased that Chip cares enough when the game is over that his nerves are kind of frazzled,” La Russa told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “The question is a legitimate one. I thought early in the game, the first two or three innings, our right-handers were pulling the ball to the left side and our left-handers hitters were pulling the ball to the right side.

“When a guy is sinking the ball like (Hudson) was, normally you stay inside and play kind of the middle and the opposite way. I’m sure Chip was defensive only in the sense that (the coaches) get those guys ready and our guys are working to get it right. In this case, I saw very few pitches that Hudson threw down the middle. I thought he really did a good job and deserves the credit.”

La Russa also said that the quick turnaround between the end of a game and the post-game press session is hard to navigate regardless of the final score.

“One of the most difficult things a manager has to do, within ten minutes of the game being over, unless you don’t care about the competition — you’ve got your blood flying and your heart is pounding and you’re emotional — win or lose, especially if you lose, it’s really tough to be sensible and restrain yourself,” La Russa said.

“I was kind of notorious for that. They’d call it ‘Tony TV’ and it wasn’t really pretty to watch. My wife would say ‘you don’t look like you’re having a lot of fun there.'”

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