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DeMarlo Hale is back in Toronto as the Blue Jays’ first associate manager

After stints in Atlanta and Cleveland, the veteran coach returns to the Blue Jays in a newly-minted coaching role.

Jul 1, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (55) is restrained by bench coach DeMarlo Hale (16) during the thirteenth inning in a game against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre. The Cleveland Indians won 2-1.
An action shot of DeMarlo Hale holding back a very angry Russell Martin during the 13th inning of the 19-inning 2016 Canada Day game.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

An old friend is returning to the Blue Jays dugout in 2024. Toronto announced the hiring of veteran coach DeMarlo Hale as associate manager today, becoming the second new coach (after new third-base coach Carlos Febles) to join manager John Schneider’s staff next year.

Hale was linked to the Blue Jays’ managerial opening after Cito Gaston’s retirement, but the club went for John Farrell instead. A year after that disastrous decision, Hale joined the Blue Jays as the bench coach to John Gibbons and remained in that role side-by-side Gibby through the 2018 season. He then joined his old boss Alex Anthopoulos with the Atlanta organization before moving onto being Terry Francona’s right-hand man in 2021. When Francona had to step away from the club with health issues, Hale filled in as acting manager

Sep 1, 2017; Baltimore, MD, USA; Toronto Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale (C) tries to get a bird out of the dugout prior to the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Unlike many coaches who you only see in posed portraits, there are a lot of DeMarlo Hale action pictures. Here he is trying to trap a bird.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It is unclear where Hale, as “associate manager”, ranks compared to bench coach and offensive coordinator Don Mattingly or who will become acting manager if Schneider is ejected or otherwise unavailable. Mattingly may not return to the Blue Jays next season if he gets the managerial job for the Milwaukee Brewers, so this Hale hiring may mitigate that possible loss.

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that, while offensive coordinator Mattingly will cover the offense portfolio, Hale will be responsible for improving “run-prevention co-ordination through defence.” It is not known who will run special teams for the Blue Jays.