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Snake Bytes: Chatter up!

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The return of the Matt, how Chip Hale ranks in bullpen management and the first #HallChat of the off-season are among the bytes to take you into the weekend.

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Diamondbacks news (more or less)

[Dbacks.com] CEO Hall conducts November chat - What aspect about the team most impressed you last season? It would definitely be their "never quit" approach. They never seemed out of games and had the confidence in battling back and winning late. They were an exciting team to watch and I believe strongly that this is part of the culture we have created down in the clubhouse.

[AZ Central] Sources: Diamondbacks eying Matt Williams for third-base coach - "According to sources, the club has offered the third-base coach’s job to Williams, a former player, coach and minority owner of the Diamondbacks who spent the previous two seasons as manager of the Washington Nationals. Williams was said to be considering the offer, one source said. Another said the club was "working on" bringing him back." Might depend on whether or not the next thing happens, though....

[LA Times] World Series hero Kirk Gibson interviewed for Dodgers managerial post - Kirk Gibson, who hit the most famous home run in Dodgers history, was interviewed by the team last week for its vacant managerial position, according to people familiar with the situation. Gibson managed the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2010-2014, compiling a record of 353-375. He was disliked by the Dodgers, who had multiple on-field confrontations with the Diamondbacks while he was their manager.

[FOX Sports] Five great NL seasons you might have missed - Two years ago, A.J. Pollock was merely good after joining the Diamondbacks. Last year, he played quite well but spent months on the disabled list. This year, though, a healthy Pollock actually played like a superstar. Which gives the Diamondbacks two superstars, with Pollock joining Paul "America's First Baseman" Goldschmidt. Now, if they could just get some pitching ...

[Inside the 'Zona] 2016 Diamondbacks Top 30 Prospects - Jeff Wiser completes his round-up of the top young players in our system, with the top 10. Includes some names you will be aware of - but also some that might have flown under the radar, e.g. Marcus Wilson.

[Grantland[ The Good, the Bad, and the Bullpens: Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny, and the Manager’s Most Dangerous Game - "You can think of each manager’s BMAR as an answer to this question: In light of the bullpen he had, how much better (in wOBA points allowed) were the relievers he did choose than the relievers he could’ve chosen at random?" The bad news is: Chip Hale is almost dead-last, managing to be just .001 wOBA points better than if he'd closed his eyes and stuck a pin in the bullpen. Still, it is something subject to wide fluctuation, so we'll see if this was just a rookie aberration.

And, elsewhere...

[CBSSports.com] Zack Greinke opts out of contract and becomes free agent - "There were three years and $71 million left on his contract, but given the state of baseball in free agency in this day and age, Greinke's going to blow that figure out of the water this winter, especially with several major players in the market for starting pitching (such as the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Tigers, Giants and more)." Not in the NL West will be fine by me.

[Fangraphs] The worst called strike of the season - A full foot away from the edge of the rule-book strike zone. Do you know how much a foot is, in terms of measurement error? Go to an area sub shop and pick up a foot-long sandwich. Hold it up in front of you. That’s the margin by which the pitch observed missed the plate, but still, Tom Hallion gave it to LeCure, maybe in part because the pitch wasn’t too far from its target, and maybe in part because strikes make the game go faster.

[Last Word On Sports]  MLB Considering International Expansion? - Ten years after the Expos relocation to Washington, Major League Baseball is again thinking about expanding into international markets, but not just in Canada. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, said that there is consideration in adding a team in Mexico. "We see Mexico as an opportunity internationally," says Manfred. "We also think a team in Mexico and a larger number of Mexican players in the big leagues could really help us continue to grow the Hispanic market in the United States."

[WashingtonPost] Window into Nationals’ organization offers not an entirely pleasant picture - The Washington Nationals on Thursday will introduce Dusty Baker as their new manager, a man who has taken three teams to baseball’s postseason and has been named the National League’s manager of the year three times. And yet when Baker stands behind a microphone at Nationals Park, his accomplishments and reputation will be the secondary story line. Taking the lead: the Nationals’ standing in their own industry, the value they place on their own people, not to mention the respect they have for their employees and their fan base.