Rangers have hired Bruce Bochy as the club’s next manager, announcing that Bochy has signed a three-year contract.
There has been increased speculation in recent days linking Bochy to the job, particularly when Rangers general manager Chris Young (who played under Bochy on the 2006 Padres) visited the veteran manager at his home in Nashville, rather than a formal interview. Rangers caretaker manager Tony Beasley was the only other known candidate to receive an interview, further adding to the idea that the team had been focused on bringing Bochy back to the dugout after three years away. Match.
In the team’s official press release, Bochy said he was “incredibly excited to join the Texas Rangers. Over the past few days, I’ve had long conversations with Chris Young and others in the organization, and had the good fortune to meet [co-owner] Ray Davis. Their vision and commitment to creating a club that can fight and win year after year is impressive, and I became convinced that I wanted to be a part of it. If I was going to go back to management, it had to be the right situation. I firmly believe that’s the case with Rangers, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Bochy brings 25 years of experience as a Major League skipper, leading the Padres from 1995 to 2006 and then the Giants from 2007 to 2019. During his long career, the 67-year-old Bochy oversaw the rebuild of clubs, contenders and teams that dipped in performance and then returned to competition – there was enough ebb and flow that Bochy actually had a career losing record, at 2003-2029 .
However, Bochy’s resume also includes some major successes. The Giants won three World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 under Bochy’s leadership, as the “Even Year” mini-dynasty returned the organization to championship glory for the first time since 1954. ( Ironically, the 2010 Giants defeated the Rangers in the series.) Bochy also managed another NL pennant winner in the 1998 Padres, which marked the last time San Diego reached the World Series.
The hiring represents a change of direction for the Rangers, as the club tended to first hire managers when Jon Daniels was in charge of baseball operations. (Interim manager Don Wakamatsu led the team for 10 games in 2018 and was the only one of Texas’ last six managers with previous MLB experience as a skipper.) Of course, Daniels himself was fired in August, shortly after the ex-manager Chris Woodward was also released.
Daniels’ firing would have surprised even Young, as Young suddenly found himself at the helm of an organization eager to start winning. Texas spent big last winter signing Corey Seager, Marcus Semienand Jon Gray, and although the team itself felt that 2023 might be a more realistic target date for a return to competition, the 2022 club did not show much progress posting a 68-94 record. That clearly wasn’t enough for Davis and the Rangers ownership group, who didn’t even wait until the end of the season to overhaul the front office.
With Texas sitting in six straight losing seasons, there is certainly pressure on Young and Bochy to start getting better results in 2023. Rangers should be aggressive again this winter, whether that manifests in agent signings brighter free or exchanges. for seasoned veterans.
The Royals, White Sox and Marlins are now the only teams looking to fill managerial vacancies. In addition to hiring Bochy, the Blue Jays (Jean-Schneider), Angels (Phil Nevin), and Phillies (Rob Thomson) have all officially signed their interim skippers from 2022 for the full-time positions.
Photo courtesy of Sports Pictures USA Today
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