The Los Angeles Dodgers are facing elimination tonight, down 3 games to 1 to Boston in the World Series...and if you are eager to see the Texas Rangers managerial search move forward, you might want to be rooting for Boston tonight.
The Rangers search for a new manager appears to currently be on hold while we wait for the World Series to finish. The Rangers reportedly are looking at interviewing Los Angeles third base coach Chris Woodward and Boston hitting coach Ron Roenicke, neither of whom will be available to interview until the World Series wraps up. If the Dodgers’ season ends today, these two could be interviewed early this coming week, with the team then possibly being in a position to narrow the list down to finalists later in the week.
Woodward, 42, is consistent with the type of candidate the Rangers seem to be prioritizing. A former journeyman infielder who spent parts of twelve seasons in the majors despite being a former 5th round draft pick, Woodward spent the 2013-15 seasons coaching in the Mariners organization before leaving to join the Dodgers as their third base coach after the 2015 season. He also managed New Zealand in WBC qualifying.
Roenicke is a bit of an outlier, on the other hand, compared to other Ranger candidates. He is a former major leaguer, but at 62, is much older than most of the other candidates the Rangers have looked at. He managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 until early 2015, when he was fired.
While I believe the Rangers interest in both candidates is legitimate, it also appears to be part of an effort to talk to candidates from the teams generally considered to have the best organizations in baseball. Along with Boston and the Dodgers, the Rangers have interviewed Houston coach Joe Espada, Cubs coach Brandon Hyde, former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, and former Rays coach Rocco Baldelli. Those six teams are arguably the six best run and most advanced organizations in MLB, and the Rangers appear to be using the search as an opportunity to gain insight into how these teams do things.
The Rangers have also interviewed Phillies coach Dusty Wathan, as well as David Bell, who was just hired away from the Giants by the Reds. Stubby Clapp, another former fringe major leaguer who has managed the Memphis Redbirds, the Cardinals’ AAA team, has also reportedly been interviewed, along with internal candidates Jayce Tingler and Don Wakamatsu.