Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa voiced his support for possible Mets managerial candidate Chip Hale in an interview with the New York Post.
"Chip is really an intelligent guy and he's a competitive guy," La Russa said . "You put those two things together, and he's got some personality, so you go into New York and you have got personality, smarts, toughness, that works there. It works anywhere, but you get tested in New York."
Since serving as the Mets' third base coach in 2009 and 2010, Hale completed a stint as Athetlics' bench coach before managing the Diamondbacks in 2015 and 2016. He also previously served as manager of the D-Backs' Triple-A affiliate.
Hale, who interviewed for the Mets' managerial opening in 2010, was fired from the Diamondbacks last year following back-to-back losing seasons.
"The first year, we went from 98 losses to four-under .500, so it was a marked improvement," said La Russa, who was working in the organization. "The next year, early in the season, it got away from us, and when you have a young club, momentum, when it goes the wrong way, it's tough to reverse. But I think the tale of both seasons was good for Chip going forward."
La Russa seems to believe Hale's competitiveness and balanced understanding of modern-day baseball could fit within the framework of an ideal manager sought by Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
"The No. 1 thing with Sandy, he's a very competitive guy," La Russa said. "I think he wants a manager that understands the reason the two teams play is the score, and you are supposed to compete to your best to win games.
"But he's also a very smart guy, so I think he appreciates that a manager is intelligent and is going to be learning, not just about the personnel, but the current [analytics] issue. There are teams that are overwhelming [the manager] and teams that are underwhelming. Neither one is optimal and there is a great balance."