Another Manager Bites the Dust
All I can say to this firing is, wow. After the front office went out and splurged, spent $500 MILLION, and put a somewhat competitive offense on the field for the first time in years, Chris Woodward was a casualty of circumstances. Often a team will blame the Manager and use it at cop out to keep the front office in line and together. The old saying that poop runs downhill, and it did in Texas as the Rangers fired Woodward this past week.
Woodward joints other front office scapegoats- Charlie Montoyo(Jays), Joe Maddon(Angels), Joe Girardi(Phillies). Fun fact: Woodward, Montoyo, and Maddon were all fired after a series loss to the Seattle Mariners
Let's look at how each team has been doing since firing their previous Manager; the Phillies were 22-29. Fast-forward to 8/17, the Phillies are 65-51 and hold a 1.5-game lead on the 2nd NL Wild Card with Rob Thompson. Not enough great things can be said about Philly Rob and the legend he is creating. No Harper for most of the season, and having to get uber creative to get here and win consistently is genuinely excellent! Extend Philly Rob!
The Angels were 27-29 and amidst an awful losing streak when they canned Maddon. At the time of the firing, the Angels were still in the WC race, had a healthy team, and were still competitive. In the first 60-games of Phil Nevin, they got into a brawl that saw Nevin suspended for more games than he had won at that point. There went 11-50 over the first 61 games. Fast-forward to today, 8/17, the Angels are 51-66, have a -41 run diff, are the 4th worst team in the AL, and are 11 games out of the playoff hunt. To cap it off, Mike Trout is milking yet another injury to have to be on the field to lose.
At the time of the firing, the Blue Jays were 46-42 and got swept in a 4-game set against the Mariners, which set them back in the wildcard race. We have seen better performances from their young core, and the team isn't as electric as last year, but the Jays as of today is 61-54, going 15-12 since the release, and are currently in the 3rd WC spot in the AL holding only a .5 game lead on Baltimore and a 1G lead on the Twins and White Sox.
Finally, we look at Woodward. Woodward played in the MLB from 1999-2011 as a utility INF after being drafted in the 54th round in the 1994 draft. Woodward took over as the Rangers manager in 2019 after being the Dodgers system of coaches. Woodward came in to take over a rebuild and to lead the Rangers into the next phase of their franchise. The results were as expected in 2019; he went 78-84; in 2020, he went 22-38, 2021, 60-102, and finished the current season at 52-64 and in 4th place in the AL West. The 46yo Woodward ends his first stint as a manager with a 212-288 record.
The results aren't impressive if we look at the team's performance- IE, the $500MM crew(Seager, Semien, Gray). Let's start with the marquee man himself, Corey Seager, who has put together a good season in his first season in Texas; he was named an All-Star and has posted a 3.5WAR, 26HR, and a slash of .249/.326/.471, which are all career lowes and ops of .797 which is well below the career average of .859. Switching over to Semien, he has a 2.9WAr, 18HR, a slash of .236/.294/.403, which are well below career averages, and is barely an average league player according to his .697OPS. Lastly, Jon Gray has been consistent, if nothing else. He owns a 3.83ERA/3.48FIP over 103.1IP in 19S.
The team results haven't been impressive either, as the team is slashing .241/304/.396 for an OPS of exactly .700, which is average. The offense has scored 541R, which is the 6th best in the AL. The pitching, however, has not been great for the Rangers as they own a 4.07ERA/4.14FIP and rank near the bottom in the AL in SV, IP, R, ER, BB, and SO as the pitching staff is the problem for the Rangers, likely not the Manager.
I'll let you decide if it was Woodward or the team he gave him to manage. Third base coach Tony Beasley takes over as the interim for the remainder of the season.
While writing this, the Rangers also relieved Jon Daniels of his duties as President of Baseball Ops, with GM Chris Young taking over the role. Daniels spent 17 years in this role with Texas, which did result in 5 playoff appearances and two AL pennants between 2010-2016 and is a bottom dweller since. Daniels was also the 3rd longest-tenured baseball ops leader behind only Billy Beane of the A's and Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
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