As the Texas Rangers prepare their search for a new manager, they can follow the lead of another local team in how to model their decision.
The Texas Rangers as you know parted ways with manager Jeff Banister on Friday with just 10 games left in the 2018 season. Banister served as the manager of the Rangers for four seasons and led arguably two of the most successful seasons in team history as well as two of the most disappointing. While the team has under-performed this year, GM Jon Daniels noted that this decision was performance based but the fact that they felt the team needed a new voice at manager. For more on the reasoning behind the decision, check out this write-up from yesterday afternoon.
Obviously though, this leaves a vacancy at the helm of the Texas Rangers clubhouse. Don Wakamatsu has taken over as the interim manager for the remainder of the season and no doubt will be considered for the permanent position at the season’s end. Regardless of Texas decides to go with, the team should follow a similar mold that local NHL team, the Dallas Stars, followed in their coaching search just a few months ago.
For a little background, we’ll refer to our friends over at Blackout Dallas and their article covering the official hiring of new coach, Jim Montgomery. In summation, Jim Montgomery was hired away from the University of Denver collegiate hockey team where he had tremendous success. Relatively young at 48 years old, Montgomery had no prior NHL coaching experience which could help give him a fresh perspective on the pro game.
Characteristics and How They Relate To The Rangers
Now first off, I don’t expect the Texas Rangers to hire a coach away from a collegiate program. That’s pretty rare in Major League Baseball specifically because of the massive gap between the college game and the pro game. What Texas should be looking for though is a first time manager to replace Jeff Banister. Obviously Texas is looking for a fresh start as an organization and feel that a new manager is a big key in finding that new identity. That same fresh perspective that Jim Montgomery is bringing to the Dallas Stars is one that the Texas Rangers could use.
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I would also imagine that the Texas Rangers will hire somebody with a MLB playing career of note. While they may not have been a star in their time in the league, somebody with multiple years of experience is a strong possibility because it’s generally easier for those with longer playing careers to relate to players at all stages of their career.
Hiring To Match Your Current Core Players
The biggest connection I think the Dallas Stars coaching search and the Texas Rangers managerial chase should have is the idea of hiring someone who fits the current core of the roster. Often times, when teams hit rebuilds, you see them hire a manager who completely shifts the gameplan and identity of the organization. Despite the Rangers obviously needing support with their roster to compete with the best of the best, the core of the team is already in place.
The Dallas Stars are definitely closer to being a contender than the Rangers are at the moment but much like they have Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg, Texas has Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo. The core is there and so bringing in somebody who doesn’t fit those players would be unwise. When the Stars brought in Jim Montgomery, they made a hiring that could help them take the next step not by changing the team completely, but by improving on the strengths already in place. If the Rangers hope to be competitive anytime soon, they must follow that same model.