Rangers fire manager Chris Woodward short of his 500th game

Aug 14, 2022, 11:39 PM | Updated: Aug 15, 2022, 9:08 pm
Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward looks out from the dugout before the team's baseball game agai...

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward looks out from the dugout before the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas, Aug. 14, 2022. The Rangers have fired Woodward with the team on pace for its sixth consecutive losing season. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers fired fourth-year manager Chris Woodward on Monday, a move made in hopes of building momentum toward next year, when the team has long expected to win again after a seasons-long rebuilding effort.

The Rangers are on pace for their sixth consecutive losing season since their last AL West title in 2016. While better than last year’s 102-loss team, they haven’t made the desired progress this year, or even had a winning record at any point since spending a half-billion dollars last winter to sign shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien.

“We did not come into this season thinking we had put together a championship roster. We thought we’d taken a major step forward in talent from where we were a year ago,” said Jon Daniels, the team’s president of baseball operations. “We’ve certainly had aspirations maybe to overachieve some and still do have those, but we were, and continue to be, realistic about about where we are. … That said, we did think that we’d be better than our record, and better than the way that we’ve played at times.”

After peaking at 24-24 at the end of May, Texas lost its next three games and five of six. The Rangers, who were 6-24 in one-run games under Woodward, beat Oakland 2-1 on Monday night in third base coach Tony Beasley’s first game as interim manager. Texas improved to 52-63 and has won three straight for the first time in two months.

Woodward, the fourth big league manager to be fired this season, was two games shy of managing his 500th game for the Rangers. He finished with a 211-287 record, which came during the extended rebuilding process that also included the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and the MLB lockout last winter after the Rangers had signed Seager and Semien.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced by Rob Thomson on June 3, the Los Angeles Angels’ Joe Maddon by Phil Nevin four days later and Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo by John Schneider on July 13.

Daniels, who was the general manager when Woodward was hired, and current GM Chris Young both spoke about making the managerial change now to start addressing items such as how the team prepares and its style of play.

“I think it’s just the overall structure, the environment. It’s not necessarily the content of the preparation, but the way it’s utilized,” Young said. “The way we utilize meetings, the way we utilize different resources throughout the day, creating a structure that’s really tailored towards winning a game every single day when we come in, and we felt like at times that got a little loose.”

Woodward, who was the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers before landing his first managerial job, was under contract through next season. The team held an option for 2024.

Seager spent his first seven big league seasons with the Dodgers, and was the National League rookie of the year in 2016, the first of Woodward’s three seasons as the third base and infield coach in Los Angeles. Seager was reunited with Woodward after signing a $325 million, 10-year contract last December.

“Obviously, he was a really important person in my career and in my life. He was around me at a really pivotal point in my career. And I don’t have anything bad to say. I have the utmost respect for him,” Seager said on the field before Monday’s game. “It’s one of those things I just wish we could have played a little better and maybe outcomes would be different. “

Along with Seager and Semien ($175 million, seven years), the Rangers also last winter signed right-hander Jon Gray (four-year, $56 million) to be at the top of their rotation. Gray was in his best stretch of the season before a left oblique injury earlier this month that could potentially sideline him the rest of the year.

Beasley is in his eighth season with the Rangers, and is the longest-tenured member of their big-league coaching staff. He previously was on the major league staffs with Washington (2006) and Pittsburgh (2008-10), and had a 590-472 record in eight seasons as a minor league manager in those organizations.

“He has all the attributes that we’re looking for. He has the respect of the staff, the respect of the players,” Daniels said. “He’s an intelligent baseball veteran, who’s won at the minor league level, performed in a variety of roles, both here and elsewhere. … He’s the right person for us as we move forward.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols hits a two-run single during the first inning of a baseball game...
Associated Press

Pujols, Dickerson help Cardinals rout Pirates 13-3

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a two-run single and Corey Dickerson had a grand slam in a six-run first inning to help the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-3 on Saturday night. Pujols singled to left with the bases loaded in the first inning driving in Brendan Donovan […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Hardison, defense help UTEP beat Charlotte 41-35

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gavin Hardison threw three touchdown passes, including two to Tyrin Smith, Tyrice Knight and Jadrian Taylor each returned a fumble for a score and UTEP beat Charlotte 41-35 Saturday night. UTEP (3-3, 1-1 Conference USA) won in the Eastern time zone for the first time in program history (1-26-1). Chris Reynolds […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

McKinney, Sloan power Eastern Kentucky past Southern Utah

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — Parker McKinney threw for 331 yards and ran for three scores, Braedon Sloan scored the winning touchdown and Eastern Kentucky defeated Southern Utah 35-28 on Saturday night. Although Eastern Kentucky (3-2) never trailed, the game was tied after each Southern Utah touchdown and EKU never led by more than seven points. […]
20 hours ago
Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first ...
Associated Press

Javier throws 6 strong innings, AL-best Astros beat Rays 2-1

HOUSTON (AP) — Cristian Javier threw six shutout innings and Jake Meyers had two hits in the Houston Astros’ 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night. It’s the 103rd victory for the American League-leading Astros, which is tied with the 2018 team for second-most wins in franchise history behind the 107 piled […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Chachere runs, passes Portland State past Northern Arizona

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Dante Chachere had 402 yards from scrimmage and accounted for all five Portland State touchdowns in the Vikings’ 35-28 victory over Northern Arizona on Saturday. Chachere was 22-of-28 passing for 274 yards and he had 128 rushing yards on 12 carries. Chachere threw three touchdown passes, including a 66-yarder to Mataio […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

McCray propels Southern to 59-3 romp over UAPB

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Besean McCray three four touchdown passes and Southern used a five-touchdown second quarter to rout Arkansas-Pine Bluff 59-3 on Saturday. Southern (2-2, 1-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) used McCray’s 4-yard scoring toss to freshman Kendric Rhymes to grab a 7-3 lead after one quarter. In the Jaguars’ big second quarter, Rhymes […]
20 hours ago
Rangers fire manager Chris Woodward short of his 500th game