A’s bench coach Chip Hale interviewed Wednesday for the Seattle Mariners’ vacant managerial position.
Hale said he spent about three hours talking with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara and came out of it feeling good.
“You always feel like when you do these that they go pretty well,” Hale said in a phone interview. “It’s just baseball guys talking. We talked about different situations, how you would handle them.”
Hale, 48, just finished his second season as the right-hand man to A’s manager Bob Melvin. Hale is familiar to Zduriencik, having interviewed for the Seattle job that ultimately went to Don Wakamatsu after the 2008 season. Hale also interviewed for the New York Mets job following the 2010 season that went to Terry Collins.
Wednesday’s interview took place in Phoenix, where Zdurencik reportedly is set to talk with several candidates early in his selection process to hire a successor to Eric Wedge. Wedge resigned as Seattle’s manager during the final weekend of the 2013 regular season as the Mariners were closing out a 71-91 campaign.
Hale feels he’s a stronger managerial candidate now than he was during his previous two interviews. For one, he’s gotten experience the past two seasons as a bench coach, a job thought to be the best training ground for a manager. Two, he’s gotten more experience from being on the coaching staff of a team that’s won back-to-back American League West titles.
“It’s always nice to get an opportunity to interview , and a lot of it has to do with our success in Oakland,” Hale said. “You owe it to a lot of people when you get these opportunities.”
Hale is thought of around the majors as an up-and-coming managerial candidate, and Melvin has commented more than once that he would make a good manager someday.
Hale is under contract through next season with the A’s, as are hitting coach Chili Davis and pitching coach Curt Young. But the A’s generally have not stood in the way of an assistant who has a crack at becoming a manager.