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Diamondbacks fire Stewart, Hale after another losing season

Chip Hale, who was fired as Arizona Diamondbacks manager on Monday, watches the team play the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Denver. (Associated Press)
Chip Hale, who was fired as Arizona Diamondbacks manager on Monday, watches the team play the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Denver. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

PHOENIX – The Arizona Diamondbacks have parted ways with general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale after a second consecutive losing season.

The team announced in a release on Monday that it will discuss an appropriate role for Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa in the future.

“We are very grateful to Dave and Chip who are widely respected throughout the game of baseball,” Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick said in a statement. “Ultimately, the results have not been what we had hoped and while that responsibility is shared by all of us, we have decided that a change is necessary.”

La Russa was hired by the Diamondbacks in 2014 and among his first moves was to bring in Stewart and Hale, elevating them to positions they had never held at the big-league level before.

After finishing 79-83 last season, Arizona had upgraded expectations this year after signing 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke to a $206 million contract and adding right-hander Shelby Miller.

The Diamondbacks got off to a slow start and underachieved all season, finishing with a 69-93 record to miss the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

“Stew and Chip are quality individuals who I consider friends and I respect greatly,” Arizona CEO Derrick Hall said. “I thank them for their tireless efforts while wearing our logo on their chests. We will look to move quickly as we turn the page and begin another chapter for this proud franchise.”

A four-time 20-game winner as a player, Stewart had previously worked in the front offices of Oakland, San Diego and Toronto before landing his first general manager’s job.

Hale played seven major league seasons with Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers before getting into coaching. He worked as Bob Melvin’s bench coach for three seasons before being hired as a big-league manager for the first time with Arizona. He previously worked nine seasons in Arizona’s organization and spent two seasons with the New York Mets.

Arizona has made some questionable moves over the past couple of seasons, including an $8.25 million contract with Cuban right-hander Yoan Lopez, who has considered leaving the game.

The Diamondbacks also were criticized for the deal that brought Miller to the desert, which sent outfielder Ender Inciarte and shortstop Dansby Swanson, Arizona’s top draft pick in 2015, to Atlanta. Miller struggled his first season with Arizona, going 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA.

Arizona did pull off the most surprising offseason deal prior to the 2016 season, luring Greinke away from top teams that had been pursuing him. Greinke showed flashes of still being one of baseball’s best pitchers, but was inconsistent most of the season. He won a team-high 13 games, but also had a 4.37 ERA, second-highest of his career.

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