Dodd: Once ahead of his time, A.J. Hinch is fueled by lessons from the past

From Rustin Dodd at The Athletic on October 16, 2018:

The​ clubhouse was​ blindsided, baseball players in disbelief. The​ veterans​ on the  Arizona Diamondbacks​ had questions.​ Others were skeptical​ of​ the​​ front office. A few guys were just pissed. 

On May 8, 2009, the first day of his managerial career, A.J. Hinch walked into a press conference at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. It may as well have been a wasp nest. The Diamondbacks had fired manager Bob Melvin, a popular figure, and replaced him with Hinch, a 34-year-old Stanford graduate and former major league catcher who had never coached a day in baseball, let alone managed. The decision surprised the coaching staff and raised eyebrows across the game. It also roiled an Arizona clubhouse in the midst of a sluggish start.  

“We were upset about the change,” former Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero says now. “Bo-Mel was a great manager and great communicator, and all the players got along great with him. And we weren’t happy about it. 

“What made it worse at the time was we hired A.J. for the job, and a lot of the guys were like, ‘We fired a good manager, and he hasn’t even been on the field.’ He hadn’t even coached.”

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Originally published: October 17, 2018. Last Updated: October 17, 2018.