I go to sleep immediately after the game last night, and miss the real fireworks.
Huge comeback win yesterday. Another bad C.J. Wilson outing, followed by another comeback and walk-off win.
But all that is made moot by the bombshell dropped after the game, with the news that Mark Connor and Dom Chiti have been fired.
I have to say, when I saw this morning what had happened, I wasn't surprised. Supposedly, during the "Ron Washington Watch" earlier this year, much of the staff was going to get the axe, as well, and Connor and Chiti seemed the prime candidates to go with him.
Both guys are well liked and well respected by the D/FW media, but at the end of the day, Connor has been here since 2003 (he's a holdover from Buck's staff, and a guy who was with Buck in New York and Arizona), while Chiti was a John Hart guy and has been here as bullpen coach since 2006.
Neither guy has a specific tie to Washington, Jon Daniels, or Nolan Ryan, and the pitching has been a disaster. Guys have underperformed, and guys have gotten hurt. And at the end of the day, when that happens time and time again, regardless of how great the Randy Galloways of the world might think they are, the pitching coaches are going to get fired.
Andy Hawkins takes over as pitching coach, and I've heard nothing but good things about his work with Oklahoma. Jim Colburn, the director of Pacific Rim scouting, takes over as bullpen coach, and I have to wonder about whether that's a temporary or permanent move.
Richard Durrett's article in the DMN has quotes from both Ryan and Daniels:
"We felt we weren't seeing the progress we wanted to see," Rangers president Nolan Ryan said. "We're serious about the wild-card race, and in fairness to our offense, we needed to try to do something to improve our pitching. We owe them that."
* * *
"We felt that we needed to try a different direction with the pitching staff, a different voice, a different message," Daniels said
I still don't see the Rangers being legit contenders in the wild card race, and I would hope this move was made because of more big picture issues.
Anthony Andro's article has more quotes from Daniels, saying that this isn't scapegoating Chiti or Connor or blaming them for not doing their jobs. And T.R. Sullivan ruminates on the situation, concluding that, at the end of the day, the worst ERA in the league for a team in the wild card race is going to cost guys jobs.