Chip Hale on bench-clearing brawls: ‘The game has changed’
D-back manager Chip Hale says the policing of baseball isn’t what it used to be.
“When we played, and even before when you were watching your old days of the Yankees, you were watching a lot of guys who were hyped up on drugs, to be honest with you,” Hale said on Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday. “Guys were out of their minds playing baseball.”
Arizona’s Jean Segura was hit in the head by a pitch May 24 in a game in Pittsburgh. The Pirates, whose pitching staff has led baseball in hit batters each season since 2013, hit Nick Ahmed in the face an inning later.
“The reality of it is that nobody wanted anyone to get hit in the head in that game,” Hale said. “We went up and in on a couple of guys. The days of teams just absolutely unloading benches and guys coming out of the clubhouse with no shirts on fighting, those days aren’t going to be around much longer.”
Hale said he didn’t think it was a matter of his team not being angry enough.
“It’s disappointing that we’re not playing better, but I don’t think it’s an anger thing,” he said. “Not at all.”
Part of the team’s problem is its youth and inexperience, as Hale pointed out. When asked if they were missing a veteran presence to lead the younger players, Chip said he didn’t think so.
“I think we have plenty of that,” he said. “Rickie Weeks has done a really good job of that, Michael Bourn has come up and done it, (Paul Goldschmidt) is veteran enough that he can do that.”
As for veteran leadership, Hale said that’s different now, too.
“Coaches and managers have a lot more influence than we used to,” he said. “A lot of times, all the coaches were just drinking buddies with the manager. The guys ran the clubhouse. That happens to a certain degree, you’ll still hear players talk about ‘The players have to have the clubhouse,’ it’s fine. But we have a lot of influence in there and good leadership on the staff.”
Still, Hale implied that none of the changes to the game were excuses for his team’s performance.
“I just think it’s about execution, and we’re not executing well enough as a ball club to win games. That’s what it comes down to.”