Whom the Rangers Should Hire to Replace Ron Washington
Unfair Park has no concrete information as to whom the Rangers are going to hire to replace Ron Washington, who resigned abruptly Friday afternoon. If we had to guess, we'd say the club is likely to hire an internal candidate. Former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele currently manages the team's Triple A-affiliate in Round Rock and has long been rumored as a potential big league skipper. So has Tim Bogar, Washington's bench coach, who was named interim manager before Friday night's game against the Mariners.
See also: Ron Washington Just Quit the Rangers
We do, however, have some strong opinions about who the club should hire. Here are five guys we'd love to see make a pitching change at The Globe:
1. Joe Maddon The current Tampa Bay manager has shown, above all else, the ability to understand and tailor in-game strategy to the advanced stats that have revolutionized the way baseball is understood. In doing so, he's made the most of a limited payroll, leading the Rays to four playoff appearances, including a 2008 World Series berth, since 2008. Like Washington, he gets the most from the players he manages. Unlike Washington, he has a terrific Twitter account and realizes that bunting in the first inning doesn't help his team's win probability. Maddon is under contract with the Tampa Bay through 2015, but given the Rays' willingness to sell or trade anything that isn't bolted down, he could be had for the right price. The issue? The Rays have one of the shrewdest front offices in the league, so that price would be high.
2. Dave Martinez Rumored to be a top candidate for the Astros' open managerial post, Martinez is essentially Maddon Jr. The former journeyman outfielder is the Rays bench coach, has strategic acumen and would link the Rangers to the sadly defunct Montreal Expos, for whom Martinez played four seasons in the late '80s and early '90s.
3. Pudge Rodriguez If you belong to that school of folks who think in-game strategy is overrated and the 2014 Rangers suck not because of an unprecedented rash of injuries but because of some sort of karmic payback stemming from general manger Jon Daniels turning his back on Nolan Ryan -- hey, Pudge is your guy. He's the greatest Ranger of all time, one of the 10 best catchers of all time and would have no issues getting his squads to get in line or get fired up. Plus, when catching prospect Jorge Alfaro finally arrives in Arlington in 2016 or so, Rodriguez would be there every day to assist in the backstop's development.
4. Tim Bogar One of the best prospects for the job currently occupies the seat. Like Martinez, Bogar formerly worked for Maddon, serving as the Rays' "quality assurance" coach in 2008 before moving to the Red Sox staff the next year. Bogar is a progressive, having helped developed a new advanced metric -- offensive value percentage -- that he presented at Bill James' 2012 Sabermetrics, Scouting and the Science of Baseball seminar.
5. Trent Williams The "Greene's Hill Kid" deserves a break after having to chase, and throw back, so many visitors' home run balls this season. He's shown the ability to fight even the toughest pre-adolescent opposition for balls clearing the center field fence. Additionally, Williams is at the park every night anyway, so the club wouldn't have to pay him that much. Any money the front office can save toward paying off Prince Fielder's albatross of a contract is a good thing.
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