Ron Washington is gone, for mysterious reasons, and while Tim Bogar is earning praise for his work as the Rangers' interim manager, we are still in a situation where there is going to be lots of discussion about who Wash's permanent replacement is going to be.
One of the names that has already gotten traction is Michael Young, with Richard Justice penning a column at Sports on Earth lobbying for Young to be the next Rangers' manager.
The argument Justice makes is about what you'd expect -- it would be a great p.r. move, Young is a great guy, he commanded the respect of his teammates, he knows the game. Justice also mentions Mike Matheny and Brad Ausmus as two recent players who almost immediately went into managing, without the internship in the minors that you usually see.
Aside from Young's lack of experience, the most obvious problem would seem to be the nature of the relationship between Young and Jon Daniels, with the two having had a very public falling out that ultimately led to Young being traded. However, its been suggested that everyone has gotten over that, and Young and Daniels would be able to work together productively.
I guess I should opine on whether Young should be the next manager, or whether I think he'd be a good manager, but the reality is that I don't know. I remember, in late 2006, talking about the candidates to replace Buck Showalter, and even then, I didn't have a strong opinion one way or the other. So much that goes on in a manager's job happens behind closed doors, or in a manner that we outsiders can't evaluate, that my tendency is to just shrug, punt, and defer to authority...
That's especially true when we are dealing with a first-time manager. At least, if someone has been a manager before, they have a track record you can work with, you know somewhat what kind of game manager they are, whether they get along with the players, whether they work well with the front office. But with Young...who knows? Is he going to bunt constantly? Play matchups with pitchers like Tony LaRussa? Play more young players? Feel more comfortable with veterans? Who knows?
And perhaps the most important element is the manager's ability to work with the front office. The days of the g.m. deciding who comes to camp, and the manager deciding who leaves camp, are gone...more and more, front offices are looking for managers who will implement a strategy dictated from above. And that potentially puts Jon Daniels in a problematic situation, should he hire Michael Young as his manager...if Daniels wants, say, Tanner Scheppers to close, and Young prefers the experience of Neftali Feliz, then who ends up winning that battle? I tend to believe that part of the reason Jon Daniels hired first-time manager Ron Washington was that he didn't want someone like, say, Buck Showalter, who he was going to get into turf wars with.
So we'll have to see what happens. I still think Tim Bogar and Steve Buechele are the two most likely candidates to be the Rangers' manager in 2015. I have no idea whether either would be any good, or whether Young would. I am very curious to see, however, how this ends up playing out as the season comes to an end...