Several items of interest out there this morning...
The Boston Globe talks at length about Buck Showalter's firing and the Ranger managerial search, including this snippet:
In letting go of Buck Showalter with three years remaining on his contract, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said, ``The most important factor we're looking for is an intelligent person who can create and establish trust within the clubhouse and the organization. Somebody who can create a positive environment."
This seemed to be the knock on Showalter, who made a couple of recommendations that probably came back to haunt him: losing Kenny Rogers (who signed as a free agent in Detroit) and Chris Young (traded to the Padres), a pair of pitchers who hurled 14 1/3 scoreless innings in the first round of the playoffs.
The Rangers clubhouse also became fractured, with shortstop Michael Young and first baseman Mark Teixeira both losing faith in Showalter.
Jim Reeves' Postcards from the Ledge includes some quotes from Hillman about his familiarity and respect for the coaches already under contract for the Rangers, making it sound like he doesn't have a problem with keeping them around.
Bill Madden in the New York Daily News also touches on the Ranger managerial hunt, although he mentions Bud Black, rather than Trey Hillman, as the fourth candidate.
Madden also says that the Yankees need to trade Alex Rodriguez to fix their team chemistry problems...if the Yankees are willing to deal him, I'd be interested in the Rangers bringing him back.
T.J. Quinn of the New York Daily News also advocates dealing ARod, describing him financially as a "bargain" because of all the money the Rangers are kicking in towards his contract (thank you, Tom Hicks), and advocates the Yanks picking up Mark DeRosa to play third base.
I've said this before, but if the Yankees -- any team, really, but particularly the Yankees -- come in with an offer for DeRosa to be a starting infielder, and are willing to pay him as a starting infielder, the Rangers can forget about keeping him around. I know that his "versatility" is supposedly so important that the Rangers can't afford to lose him, but I don't see any way that the Rangers can justify paying him starter money to be a part-time player. And even if they were, I don't see why DeRosa would choose to be a part-time player here rather than a starter elsewhere.
The Daily Southtown out of Chicago mentions the ChiSox as a possible suitor for Gary Matthews, Jr.
Again, while I'd like GMJ to return, I'm not breaking the bank for him. I'm not sold on him being an elite defensive centerfielder, and I'm not sure he's going to be a plus hitter at the position going forward. If the bidding gets to $24-27 million over three years, I'd rather see the Rangers let GMJ walk, go with Fab 5 Freddy for a year, spend money instead on a big bat for a year in a corner outfielder slot, and make a run at Vernon Wells after next year.
Evan Grant has an article in the DMN on how Dave Dombrowski has built the Tigers, noting in particular the shrewd trades and pickups from the leftover bin (including former Rangers Marcus Thames and Craig Monroe) to build a team that is going to the World Series.