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Nationals bench coach Chip Hale not tipping his hand on Orioles rumors

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Nationals bench coach Chip Hale not tipping his hand on Orioles rumors

NATIONALS PARK -- Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was coy Sunday at Nationals Winterfest when asked about a report that he would be interviewing for the Baltimore Orioles open managerial job.

“Let’s just put it this way, there’s 30 jobs and if you get the opportunity, it’s a blessing, so, with all the turnover this year, I have not interviewed yet,” Hale said. “I have a great job here. If you get the opportunity to talk to somebody and meet some new people, it’d be a great opportunity. That’s all I’ll say on that.”

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Sunday that Hale would be one of several candidates to interview with new Orioles general manager Mike Elias.

Hale has an extensive coaching resume, which includes a two-year stint as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2015-16. He came to Washington before the 2018 season to provide a veteran bench coach for rookie manager Davey Martinez. Hale has been a Triple-A manager, third base coach at the major league level and bench coach in Oakland in addition to his Washington and Arizona stops. He also played seven seasons in the major leagues. Hale has hoped to manage again since being fired by Arizona following a 148-176 record across two seasons.

“In the right situation, with the right people,” Hale said. “I’m blessed here with Davey [Martinez] and [Mike Rizzo] and ownership here, they’ve done really good by me. Those opportunities, like I said, are tough to come by and are exciting. So, we’ll see.”

Hale, 54, mentioned the 2018 season as an opportunity to delve further into things he might not have if he was a manager.

He began to look at more analytics such as spin rate as opposed to having a chunk of his daily time taken up by press conferences.

“I could study a little more and get caught up, so that was a cool thing,” Hale said.

The Orioles are beginning the process of wading out of a dismal situation. They finished 47-115 last season in the powerhouse American League East, home of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox and always potent New York Yankees.

Elias was plucked from the Houston Astros’ front office to take over as general manager. Finding a new manager to replace Buck Showalter is among his long list of fixes in Baltimore.

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Andy Martino of SNY refutes the reports that the Nats are out on Harper

Andy Martino of SNY refutes the reports that the Nats are out on Harper

Despite Mark Lerner's comments to NBC Sports Washington that the team hasn't been in recent contact with Bryce Harper and has filled out the roster, SNY's Andy Martino says not to give up hope.


"Do not believe that the Nationals are out on Harper," Martino said. "People I talk to around the situation are saying don't rule the Nationals out until the moment that Harper signs elsewhere."


Martino believes that the clearest options may not be what they seem.


"The Phillies of course are pursuing him, but I continue to hear they have a tough road to get Harper to come to Philly," he said. "The Phillies are possible but I don’t know that I would call them frontrunners."

After the news of Manny Machado signing with the Padres, all eyes turn to Bryce Harper and how long this continues to drag out. 

The clock is ticking.

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How to watch NBC Sports Washington's full interview with Nationals owner Mark Lerner

How to watch NBC Sports Washington's full interview with Nationals owner Mark Lerner

When Nationals principal managing owner Mark Lerner  see his team lose, he has a postgame ritual that rivals one of the most ordinary passionate fan.

“ I go into a closet and scream a little after,” Lerner told NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas in an exclusive interview in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Friday. “No, no. That’s one thing that’s good about baseball. You’re going to play the next day. But I go home. I’m totally depressed. I won’t turn on the sports news or anything and get up the next morning, it’s a new day, get up and go after it again today. When I’m sitting down there, I’m very passionate as a fan. I’m yelling at the umpires like everybody else. I want to win. I hate losing exhibition games let alone regular-season games.”

Lerner also spoke about Bryce Harper's future - or lack thereof - with the team, Anthony Rendon and what he expects from the team this season.

The interview is now available in full on the MyTeams app, which can be downloaded here.

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