The Texas Rangers have fired manager Chris Woodward, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
This is surprising, to me, albeit not shocking. The Rangers were aiming to show improvement in 2022 after last year’s 60-102 finish, and with a $500 million investment in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, as well as a four year deal for Jon Gray, the organization appeared to expect a .500 or better club in 2022.
Texas has played like a .500 club, in terms of run differential, but have been awful in one run games, with a 6-24 record on those contests. That is something that is generally a matter of random fluctuations, rather than reflective of anyone’s ability, although can be (and has been) argued that one run games are a reflection of the manager.
Evan alludes to a perceived lack of cohesion with the team, as well as a lack of improvement in overall quality of play by the team, as being indicative of a lack of the “championship culture” the Rangers want to have.
Personally, I never had an issue with Woodward as a manager, and felt the folks blaming Woodward for the team’s misfortunes were off-base. I don’t think that a different manager would have had materially different results this year, and I still don’t think that.
That said, when Jon Daniels said at the trade deadline press conference, when asked about his evaluation of Woodward’s performance, that they hadn’t been paying attention because they’d been focusing on the draft and then the trade deadline, that was pretty obviously a cop-out. Woodward’s future with the team beyond 2022 looked pretty uncertain after that comment.
And now it is, well, actually certain, in that he won’t be here.
UPDATE — It is official. The Rangers have announced that Chris Woodward has been fired, and that Tony Beasley will be the interim manager for the rest of 2022.
Here is the team’s statement: