The Texas Rangers have completed their first round of interviews for their new manager to replace Ron Washington who resigned in September. Bench coach Tim Bogar took over after that time and lead to the team on their best stretch of the season to help them avoid 100 loss season.
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Bogar, who is 47 years old, is the front runner in the Texas Rangers managerial search. He brings knowledge of the Rangers organization, plenty of baseball experience and he’s also a guy who knows how to use the advance stats in baseball (sabermetrics).
While Bogar may be the front runner as the Texas Rangers new manager, they should strongly consider hiring someone outside the organization. When the Texas Rangers parted ways with Buck Showalter in 2006 they conducted an extensive manager search and finally decided on hiring someone outside the club with Ron Washington.
It worked out well for the Texas Rangers over their 8 year relationship. It probably helped Ron Washington a lot that he was coming from the Oakland Athletics and could bring a bit of the Moneyball ideology that he learned from General Manager Billy Beane.
Ron Washington didn’t apply the advanced stats of the game with the Texas Rangers, but he did manage the team and games very well to make him the manage with the most wins, post-season wins and World Series appearances.
Now that the Rangers have the chance to find someone new it should be someone from the outside. The past few seasons the team seemed to lack some internal organization and leadership. During the offseason last year one of the big questions was who in the clubhouse would step up and be the lead. For the last 8 years the main voice was Ron Washington, mainly because he was a player’s manager.
While a manager should relate and care for his players, he should also be able to make the tough decisions and calls to put his team in a position to win. That didn’t always seem to be the case with Ron Washington. Sometimes he was too worried about how the players felt and would react over the outcome of the game. That was quite evident in the Texas Rangers post-season runs. Especially during the World Series.
The Texas Rangers have interviewed two outside candidates that would make excellent managers for the team. The best overall option would be Jeff Banister. He’s been the bench coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the past 4 years. Banister is kind of like Ron Washington when it comes to his clubhouse presence and relationship to the players. But, one big difference between Banister and Washington is that he does use and embrace the advanced stats. He’s also very close to the Pirates farm system and their scouting department. He’s almost the full package the Texas Rangers are looking for in a new manager.
Another candidate which the Texas Rangers should heavily consider is the Cleveland Indian bullpen coach. He’s been working with Terry Francona and Brad Mills over the past several years. Both Francona and Mills are excellent mentors to have if someone is wishing to become a manager. Every one knows Francona as the manager who helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years. Brad Mills was his bench coach for several years and he also spent time as the Houston Astros manager. Cash worked with both managers when they were with the Red Sox, Astros and now the Cleveland Indians. Cash is only 37 and would be the youngest manager in the league. But, he could bring youth to the position, his baseball knowledge and the ability to be modeled to the manager the Texas Rangers desire.
Between the two top outside choices Jeff Banister is the top choice. There you get a full package ready to go without having to model/train someone for the position. Between Jeff Banister and Tim Bogar the Rangers should pick Banister. Mainly because right now with the way this team is they could use a different voice in the clubhouse. They could also benefit from having someone new come in who has new ideas and directions.