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Snake Bytes, 10/20: Gardenhire’d

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Our bench coach heads back to the manager’s seat in Detroit.

MLB: NL Wildcard-Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Team news

[Bless You Boys] Detroit stayed conservative with Ron Gardenhire - In the best organizations, you see openness and better communication between the coaching staff and the number crunchers. A good coaching staff not only takes a cursory interest in the analytics department’s work, but is actively engaged, exchanging ideas, and asking questions. From there, it requires commitment to put best practices into action, both as a team and on a player-by-player basis. None of that happens if the manager is only casually interested. Those requirements extend not just to Gardenhire, but to his coaching staff and his overall influence within the organization. Since his time with the Twins, has Gardenhire been converted?

[AZ Central] Tony La Russa says it was his decision to leave - Tony La Russa said Wednesday that it was his decision to leave the Arizona Diamondbacks because the ballclub’s operations from the front office to the field would function just fine without him. “It’s not that I can’t contribute,” he said. “It’s that they don’t need it. These guys are sharp.” La Russa praised General Manager Mike Hazen and the front office staff, calling them “a really unique group of guys.” “I was really impressed,” he said. “They’re very smart. … They understand all the formulas, but they totally believe in the balance of the hearts beating and how you blend the reality of the dynamic of playing a game that can change inning to inning with the preparation that the metrics provide you.”

[dbacks.com] Arizona D-backs' Arizona Fall League overview - There's no such thing as too much knowledge or too much versatility for a player, and Jack Reinheimer is working to acquire both during his stint with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. "It's a good thing to be in this league," Reinheimer said. "Getting to pick these guys' brains and seeing what has been working for them, bouncing ideas off of them. I like doing that about hitting. It's a good opportunity for me to work on some things I want to work on... I think I just need to work on my consistency,. I've been trying to do that my whole career. It's up and down, but that's how the game goes."

[ABC15] What MLB expansion and realignment could mean for the Diamondbacks - One prominent baseball writer believes expansion and realignment in Major League Baseball are on the way -- a move that would have a significant impact on all 30 existing MLB franchises, including the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Monday, Baseball America's Tracy Ringolsby wrote that there is "a building consensus that baseball will soon be headed to a 32-team configuration." This would include a pair of expansion teams, with the most likely host cities being Montreal and Portland, Oregon. How would this scenario impact the Diamondbacks?

[Ariizona Sports] D-backs' Chris Iannetta uses winery to help wildfire first responders - Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta and former major-league outfielder Vernon Wells have decided to do what they can to support first responders fighting California wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties. The 34-year-old Iannetta, who will become a free agent this offseason, and Wells share a passion for wine and co-own the JACK Winery label. The former major league teammates created a shirt that reads “CA, Wine Strong” on the front. The winery, which is located in Napa Valley, announced via Twitter that 100 percent of the shirt’s sales will go directly to first responders.

[dbacks.com] D-backs made huge leap in 2017 - There was not a whole lot the D-backs wanted to remember from 2016, but when it came to 2017, well, the memories could fill a book. From walk-off wins to a return to the postseason for the first time since 2011, this past season was packed with memorable moments. It was tough to whittle this down, but here's a look at five of the things worth remembering about the 2017 season:

And, elsewhere...

[SI] How Carlos Beltran Sparked Traditional Clubhouse Chemistry for the Data-Crazed Astros - “I don’t think you can quantify it,” says the Astros’ data-devouring general manager Jeff Luhnow. “But that certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You know it’s there. Everybody feels it.” It is chemistry, by which, among other things, a club’s culture allows it to play better than the sum of its parts. It does this while simultaneously propelling individual players to new heights and a heightened resilience. That’s the theory, anyway. Metrics-minded skeptics often contend that while it may exist, its impact on a club’s bottom line success is likely negligible. Chemistry, they say, comes only from winning—never the other way around.

[ESPN] Justin Verlander on the mound facing elimination, says 'This is why I'm here' - Justin Verlander joined the Houston Astros in late August with a mandate to pitch high-profile games -- and keep an open mind. Top-of-the-rotation starters have to be ready for the pressure of both clinchers and elimination games, and they never know what the October agenda will bring from one appearance to the next. During a span of three days in the Bronx this week, the Astros' team mood took a sudden shift from exhilaration to the opposite end of the spectrum. And Verlander, who could have been entrusted with closing out the series, will now be in the role of trying to extend it.

[Fanrag] Inside Baseball MLB Notes - The Phillies have tried to keep everything quiet [in their manager search], but... Chip Hale, the former Diamondbacks manager and current A’s coach, went for an interview. Hale did a terrific job his first year with the D-backs, and one NL GM remarked, “I don’t understand why he wouldn’t be a candidate everywhere.” Hale was the runner-up when the Mets hired Terry Collins, and while the Mets showed initial interest, it isn’t certain whether he remains on their list.