What will the Texas Rangers look for in a new manager?
By Travis Koch
At the top of the Texas Rangers’ offseason priority list is finding a new manager. What direction is General Manager Jon Daniels leaning?
The search is on. GM Jon Daniels stated his plans to interview anywhere between 5-8 candidates for the Texas Rangers managerial opening. In a recent Fox Sports article, Daniels was quoted:
"“Certainly this job is managing people, personalities, egos, really develop relationships to where you can get through on a variety of different levels.”"
Seems rather anti-Jeff Banister, doesn’t it? Not to imply Daniels did not like the job Banister did over the past four seasons, but the theme to the Banister firing was a supposed lack of communication. He didn’t communicate well enough with his players; ergo, he didn’t manage them well enough.
So, how can we expand on Daniels’ quote to try to pinpoint an ideal candidate?
The part that stands out the most is “variety of different levels”. The Texas Rangers are going through a rebuild. In a rebuild, the minor leagues are stressed nearly as much as the major leagues.
Texas is going to want a manager that can help ease the transition for top prospects from the minors to the majors. Furthermore, a manager that can be instructive and influential towards prospects in the spring and at the time of promotions to the big club.
Communication will of course be crucial. With the Latin influence throughout the organization, don’t be surprised if a bilingual individual is hired as manager. The names of potential bilingual candidates have been floating around. Ramon Vazquez has been mentioned, along with Sandy Alomar Jr., Raul Ibanez and Carlos Beltran. You may recall three out of four of those gentleman spending some time with the Rangers in their playing careers.
Lastly, youth may be a key managerial component. Now more than ever, players are building relationships with their managers. Managers that offer support and encouragement to players is the current hiring trend in MLB. This opposes the old school approach of yelling at players anytime they do something wrong. Billy Martin probably already rolled over in his grave because of this trend, so it’s okay if the Texas Rangers want to continue it.
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The Boston Red Sox hired Alex Cora as a player’s coach and the New York Yankees did the same with Aaron Boone. Cora, at age 42, replaced a 55-year-old John Farrell. And Aaron Boone, age 45, replaced a 53-year-old Joe Girardi. Jeff Banister is 54 years old…
A genuine care for minor league talent, communication, and youth are the footprints leading to the Rangers’ new manager. Look for the organization to hire someone who has major league playing experience and someone who is not long retired from playing. A recently retired player will understand the innovations of the game, on field and off.
One of those three mentioned earlier – Carlos Beltran, Raul Ibanez, Ramon Vazquez – may very well be the next manager of the Texas Rangers. Just a hunch.