Today's the last day of the season for the Rangers. Kind of sad, and kind of weird, that the season is already over, because it seems like it wasn't that long ago that the season was starting.
A win today, and the Rangers finish at .500. A loss, and they finish below .500 for the 6th time in the last 7th years, and for the 3rd time in Buck Showalter's 4 seasons with the team.
And Gil LeBreton says it will be Buck's final season as Ranger manager...LeBreton says he believes Buck will resign as Rangers manager at the Tuesday night summit meeting.
Sources in Texas say there is better than a 50-50 chance of manager Buck Showalter losing his job because owner Tom Hicks realizes how much veteran players dislike playing for him. The bold choice would be to replace him with highly respected hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. . . . If Showalter does stay, first baseman Mark Teixeira might go in an off-season deal.
Perhaps the most critical personnel decision facing Daniels will be whether to retain Showalter. It could be as critical as free-agency decisions, if not more.
Today marks the end of Showalter's fourth season as Rangers manager. Though he was voted American League Manager of the Year when the team went a surprising 89-73 in 2004, his overall record is 319-326 in Texas, and the Rangers have not finished better than third in the division. Many players believe it is the right time for a change.
But do Daniels and owner Tom Hicks agree? Showalter is signed through the 2009 season. Daniels declined to address the issue.
Said Hicks: "At the end of the [season], Buck and J.D. and I will sit down and sort through that question, and what's really right for the Texas Rangers. Buck is very loyal to the Texas Rangers, and I want him to participate in that process."
The Boston Globe lists Trey Hillman as a potential managerial candidate for the Rangers, as well as the Cubs and Marlins.
O'Brien also lists GMJ and Vicente Padilla as the team's top priorities among their own players who are pending free agents, and says the Rangers need to add three veteran starters (two if they bring Padilla back) and a big corner OF bat (assuming Carlos Lee walks) if they want to be legitimate playoff contenders in 2007.
Evan Grant hands out his "Evvy" Awards for the Rangers this season.
Grant also talks about Kevin Millwood's season, saying that he's given the Rangers the solid, top-of-the-rotation starter that they've lacked for years.