Jon Daniels wasn't waiting just to wait, as it turns out. Saturday, after USA Today's Bob Nightengale broke the story, the Rangers general manager confirmed that he'd hired Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward, less than a week after the Dodgers' season ended in a five-game World Series loss to the Red Sox.
"We interviewed a number of strong candidates during an extensive interview process for our managerial role and believe we have found the right fit in Chris Woodward," Daniels said in statement. "We look forward to working with him and everyone on the baseball staff to develop and grow a culture that will lead to success for many years to come."
Woodward's hire follows a burgeoning trend in Major League Baseball and bucks tradition for the Rangers. At 42, Woodward is less than a decade removed from his last big league game with the Blue Jays in 2011. He has no experience as a manager, outside of skippering New Zealand's entry in the 2016 World Baseball Classic.
Rather than fitting the traditional, crusty baseball man mold of the Rangers' previous three managers — Jeff Banister, Ron Washington and Buck Showalter — Woodward is expected to be a players' manager, succeeding where Banister failed in building rapport with the team's young personnel. His hire follows the success of managers with similar resumes around the league, like the Red Sox's Alex Cora, Yankees' Aaron Boone and Dodgers' Dave Roberts.
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"Chris brings high energy, outstanding leadership and communication skills, a strong knowledge of the game and its evolving strategies and great integrity — attributes that we feel are vital for our next manager. We believe these traits will resonate with our players, our staff, and our fans," Daniels said.
In addition to coaching third base in Los Angeles, Woodward coached infield defense and directed defensive shifts for the Dodgers.
The Rangers reportedly interviewed 12 candidates — including interim manager Don Wakamatsu, former A's third baseman Eric Chavez and former Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli — before talking to Woodward for the first time Thursday.