It’s Chris Woodward. 47 comments


 

The Rangers have a new manager. Chris Woodward, fresh off the World Series, where he was the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

A former big leaguer, Woodward was an infielder for twelve seasons, mostly with Toronto. Let’s just say he didn’t make a big-league club on his hitting.

But more than waving his arm furiously at third base, Woodward’s true gift is in teaching defense to infielders. He is credited with some major strides in defense many Dodgers have made under his tutelage, including shortstop Corey Seager.

The forty-two-year-old native of California’s only previous managerial experience came in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, at the helm of the New Zealand squad.

Like his predecessor, he takes over a team that finished dead last in the American League West, also coming off a 95-loss season. The next year they won the division. The division is much tougher now than it was then. Houston is not going to take getting bounced in the playoffs lightly. But we can all hope lightning strikes twice.

Woodward has his work cut out for him, though. The Rangers are at rock bottom, finishing in last or next to last in most categories of offense, defense and pitching.

But he brings a pedigree of winning with him from Los Angeles based not just on analytics, but knowing how to apply them.

According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Woodward says that you are a “fool if you don’t understand the importance of analytics.” But he adds it’s all about communicating it to the players. If the players don’t buy into it, the smartest thinking in the world doesn’t matter.

The first-time manager joins the growing trend toward young, inexperienced managers who are fresh off their playing careers and presumably can communicate well with players.

Welcome to the Rangers, Chris Woodward.  We wish you all the success in the world. And by world, we mean World Series.

  • Nathan Whitten

    I like the play on words that you closed with. Now, just a point-blank question. Do you think that JD made a good hire?
    When JD took over, the Rangers were about where they are now. I can’t remember when JD was hired. I’m thinking it was 2006. They were competitive in 2009 and in the WS the next year. Do you think it will take longer to be relevant this time?

    • CrazyEd

      I did my own research last night and posted the results on the previous thread. In essence it parallels what Keven posted. One of the sites compared Woodward’s teaching of infielders play to that of Ron Washington. Everything I read about him was positive, no negatives. But, in my experience, a successful middle manager and/or a person with an abundance of knowledge, does not always have what it takes to be successful when at the top of the food chain. It usually does, but not always. Whether or not JD made a good choice will only be revealed over time. Everything that I’ve read would indicate that he made an excellent choice. One thing is certain. Two weeks into the season, maybe sooner, the second guessers will be as vociferous as ever.

      • dearmidol

        I doubt there will be second guessers that soon in the season. After all, does anyone expect this team to finish anywhere better than last place at this point? We may expect a lot of Woodward but we expect little of the team he is given. Just learn, grow, connect with the players, and see what happens in a few seasons.

        • CrazyEd

          I hope you are correct about the second guessers. I based my prediction on my experiences of following the MLB boards for the past several years. They are a strange lot. A bunch of “Angry Man” juniors.

          • dearmidol

            Angry Man hates Santa Claus.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Angry man hates Angry man…….

          • dearmidol

            That’s hilarious. What happens to that guy now that he doesn’t have an outlet on MLB.com?

          • JacobMcCandles

            Hope he doesn’t take out on the kids….he works in some capacity at school…..also servedi

          • CrazyEd

            He’s a special needs teacher.

            On the served part, he got pretty shot up and lost a leg. Probably why he’s the way he is.

          • Nathan Whitten

            I remember that guy. What kind of person would have “Angry Man” as their user name?

      • elkaba

        For this hire, I think the most valuable asset will be communicating metrics to players and getting them to buy in to what the numbers say. That he’s considered as good a teacher as Washington was is another plus. I have ever finger and toe crossed that JD’s made a good pick this time- at least he’s finally hired a real former ML player, for once, so he at least can claim to have walked the walk himself when it comes to defense. (Now we just need him to find us the world’s greatest pitching and hitting coaches! 🙂

        • JacobMcCandles

          Wash played 10 yrs

      • Nathan Whitten

        Thanks for the information.

    • dearmidol

      Daniels was hired in October of 2005, so his first season was 2006, after a season the Rangers finished third at 79-83. So, the Rangers were better then than they are now.

      In 2006 the Rangers finished 80-82 and in third. He fired Buck Showalter after that season and hired Ron Washington. They slipped to fourth in Washington’s first season, winning 75 games. They won 79 in 2008, good for second place though. And then made major strides in 2009, winning 97 games and finishing in second again.

      So, Daniels took over a better team then than he has now. But in four years he brought it to a World Series.

      The team is certainly irrelevant, and has been for a couple of season. It depends on how willing he is to acquire pitching since he has never shown an ability to develop it. I think it will take longer to return to relevance this time. A lot of it depends on how long the Astros continue their dominance in player development. It’s all cyclical.

      • CrazyEd

        I think it will take a bit longer this time but it should be of a more permanent nature. This rebuild is not just of the team, it’s pretty much of the whole organization. The scouting department has been completely revamped over the past two years. Starting with last years draft lass of pitchers the pitcher development program has been changed to an entirely different model. Almost the exact opposite of what it used to before. Injuries permitting, the past two years, they have not been promoting prospects as quickly as they used to. Giving them time to mature and learn their trade in the minors. All very positive indicators of a long term view. I just hope they keep their finger off the trade trigger until the time is right.

        • dearmidol

          You’re right, Ed, this is a total organizational transformation. And that’s encouraging.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Amen Brother

      • Nathan Whitten

        Thank you very much for the information and such a well-considered answer. I did not know how things then compared to things as they are now.

        I was thinking (hoping) that this is a very good young lineup: an infield of Guzman, Odor, Andrus, Gallo(or Profar) with Mazara, Calhoun(or Gallo). and maybe DD in the OF, Chirinos behind the plate. There are hitters there, not all like Gallo. And If Odor can change, so can he.
        The Angels are wasting one of the greatest talents to hit MLB in years. Mike Trouts are not that common. Like 1 in a million shots. They do not have Trout, but the Rangers are loaded with a good, young lineup(I think). They have money to buy some pitching. I know it is a crap shoot. But you have roll ‘um to have a chance to win. There is not time to develop an entire staff. Part, yes. They will have to get some of it elsewhere.

        • dearmidol

          I certainly think this infield has potential. I can’t wait to see what Guzman develops into. I could be totally wrong but he is the one player I feel will make the most impact. I am still not totally sold on Profar. I need to see if he can take another step or two. But this team will go only as far as its pitching.

  • possumrld

    So as most of us know, it is an open question as to whether or not Woodward’s experience as a player and an assistant in MLB managing will actually translate into success on the big league level. But I suppose in all professional sports, this is true in any such move from one level up to a higher level, for both players and coaches .
    So Kev, you seem to be on the positive side here for this selection. I would like to hear more on what you think about Woodward, if you indeed at this point you have more thoughts to offer us on this new Rangers hire.
    All I can say though is that it would be very difficult for any manager, whether an old veteran manager, or brand new green one, to be a worse manager than Jeff Bannister was.
    So now let us all hope for “…all the success in the world”, for Chris Woodward as a Ranger, especially including that and ever elusive Word Series ring! .

    • dearmidol

      I don’t know any more about him than most fans, even than the sports writers in The Dallas Morning News who are also admitting to know little about him.

      I am positive because he has to be better than Banister, who did win a Manager of the Year award, even though I think that was more due to Jon Daniels’s trading for Cole Hamels and jettisoning Tanner Scheppers. But he won the award nonetheless.

      As of right now, Woodward has less to work with than Banister did when he got here. Banister had Beltre and Fielder, not to mention Colby Lewis. That’s not to say the Rangers won’t give him more tools. But in 2015 the Rangers were headed for last place again until Daniels make the Hamels deal. Who knows if he pulls off something like that this year. But also it took a collapse by the Astros and Angels to pull that off. I doubt the Astros collapse in 2019.

      But you can go back four years ago to when they hired Banister and these same superlatives were said, with the same sense of optimism, by the front office.

      Daniels hired Ron Washington and the team won two AL championships. Daniels hired Banister and the team won two AL West titles. You have to think he will give Woodward every chance to succeed as he gave Washington and Banister.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Even the yr Banny won it, he was not the best choice…..Molitor was my choice, then Hinch, then Banny

  • CrazyEd

    AFL

    The “Fall Stars” game will be live on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com Saturday (tonight) at 8 p.m. ET. No rangers in the starting lineup but it’s an All Star game so expect some later. Vlad Jr. is starting, so there’s that.

    Charles LeBlanc continues to hit in the .300’s. JPM has not played in the past two games. No info on any injury, so don’t know. One alternative is that the Rangers pulled him back to do other work elsewhere or to just take a break. That’s not uncommon in the AFL.

  • CrazyEd

    Good Eggs: The wife is making a crock pot full of soy sauce eggs. Fine dining. She does it entirely different than anything I can find on the net, but the basic sauce is the same. You can add spices of your choice and maybe a couple chopped habenjeros. This recipe is somewhat different and the cook time is way different. She doesn’t use a receipe, she just dumps the stuff until it looks right. Once she has the hard boiled eggs shelled, she puts them in a crock pot with the marinade and slow cooks them for a minimum of eight hours. I like it longer so the marinade completely permeates the egg. I don’t care about the color all I’m interested in is the taste. Maybe I should just drink the marinade ….. nah, beer is better.

    This is a recipe off the net, so you can get the idea.
    6 eggs
    1 cup soy sauce or tamari
    2 cups water
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2-inch knob ginger, cut into thick slices

    Instructions

    In a medium pot, cover the eggs with about 1-inch water. Bring the water
    to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, until the eggs are hard-boiled.

    Remove the eggs with a strainer and run until cold water until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the eggs and set aside.

    Inanother medium pot, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and
    ginger. Bring the liquid to a boil. Add the eggs, reduce the heat to
    medium-low, and simmer uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes, turning
    occasionally so all sides can get evenly colored. Turn off the heat and
    let the eggs sit in the braising liquid for another 30 minutes to absorb
    more of the flavor and color. Transfer the eggs to cutting board,
    reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of the braising liquid for serving. Discard
    the remainder or save it to flavor your rice or noodles.

    Slice
    each egg in half and arrange on a plate or in a bowl. Spoon the braising
    liquid over the eggs and serve, either alone or with rice or noodles.

    • GoRangers23

      I must admit I have never heard of this before, and have never seen it, to my knowledge. Another intriguing recipe. I think I would have to try it somewhere first, before I invested the ingredients and time to make it, just in case I didn’t like it. But now I am very curious. I hate it when there is food out there that I have never tried. 😄. I’m sure your wife’s recipe is great though.

      • CrazyEd

        Just because she makes it doesn’t make it good. I like my food, but she makes some stuff even I won’t eat. Stinky Tofu for one. I’m sure it’s good but sorry I ain’t eatin’ it. Strong odor is a gross understatement..

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinky_tofu

        • JacobMcCandles

          Ever smell Chitlins

          • CrazyEd

            Yup, we eat them quite frequently. Do it different though. We soak them in a soy sauce, lemon juice, and habenjero (of course) marinade in the fridge for a day or so and then grill them until crisp. It’s base on a Korean dish that I forget the name of. Picked it up in Japan. Goes good with steamed rice and beer.

          • JacobMcCandles

            I like spicy as long as it does not dominate the taste

          • Nathan Whitten

            The smell(and cost) of chitins(innards) depends greatly on whether they have been washed or not. If they have not been washed at all, they are like me: full of shit. That would account for the odor. After being cleaned, they really do not have an odor. It’s been rumored that many packing plant include innards that have not been washed. That means there is fecal matter in the ground beef. That’s a nice thought.

          • CrazyEd

            One more reason to make sure you wash what can be washed and for goodness sakes cook it until it’s done. I’ve butchered enough animals, tame and wild, so you won’t catch me within ten feet of anything raw, rare, or medium rare. If it ain’t well, I ain’t eatin’ it.

        • GoRangers23

          No thank you on the stinky tofu. I’m with you on that one. 🤢

    • JacobMcCandles

      You eat Habaneros on everything? Ha

  • GoRangers23

    Test . It worked!!!!! Apparently the problem is with my iPad. Kevin, here is the chart I mentioned yesterday about the odds of each team winning the World Series. Refresh

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f563fec8547585b559e6ab258354f526ccc5c53ec80fc00df60bcf0e5a708d02.jpg

    • dearmidol

      Seems about right.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Like the odds on Brews and Phils……Phils are going to take a deep dive in Free agency (why do they call it free,lol) and Brews get their best SP back…..Phils will end up with Harper or Machado,

        Astros will prob get Realmuto and a SP

    • Rowdy Yates

      Says something about the state of MLB right now when there are 7 other teams as bad or worse than the Texas Rangers.

    • Nathan Whitten

      Thanks for posting this and giving me a chance to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time.
      As a man who taught math for 37 years and is still doing it part-time at a nearby university, it really bugs me when people who should know the jargon of their profession either misuse the words or do not use them in the precise manner that is required. Those odds posted are NOT the odds that a team WILL win the WS, they are the odds AGAINST them winning the WS. The odds IN FAVOR of Texas to win are 1 to 100, often written 1:100 or 1/100. The odds against them winning are 100:1 . That means that the PROBABILITY that the Rangers win the Series is 1/101. When the “pros” use the word odds, they never say whether its “odds for” or “odds against” and if they do, they usually get it backwards. Nearly always the odds that are posted are “odds against” the event occurring. As far as the meaning is concerned, I’m sure most of you know that if the odds AGAINST the good guys winning it all are 100:1, that means that if you bet $1 that the Rangers win and they do, then you win $100 and get your dollar back. Probability and odds are not the same thing, but people act as if they are. Yes, they are related, but they are not synonyms.
      Please forgive me for being technical, but this is the 1st time this matter has come up on RR3 when I am aware of it. I can’t help but try to explain what is meant when odds are posted. Perhaps the people in Vegas that set these odds do so with the understanding that they are always going to be ODDS AGAINST. They certainly are not worried about a retired math teacher who is irritated by their habits. Thank you for indulging me with this opportunity to straighten out a matter that has bugged me for 4 decades.

  • CrazyEd

    Michael Young on Woodward ” We gotta good one, folks.”

  • JacobMcCandles

    Said before…..majority of successful mgrs nowadays are young and versed on the analytics. Days of the rehash old timers is done.

  • JacobMcCandles

    There is a reason all those hotels are in Vegas….for the life of me I did not understand how they could make TX a fav over West Virg…..good game, back and forth

  • JacobMcCandles

    West Virginia just beat the steers…..great game

    • Rowdy Yates

      Yes it was. Outplayed and definitely out coached … again. Will be good for the Horns long term as after beating OU they were starting to believe they were elite. Only ‘Bama is elite. And UT is just average as is the entire Big 12. The SEC is in its’ own world as it’s top 4 would probably beat the winner of every other conference in college football.

      • dearmidol

        I lived in Alabama for four years before moving to Texas. There is nothing else in that state but Auburn and Alabama football and nothing else for that state to be proud of.

        • Rowdy Yates

          True of most of the SEC teams. Best buddy’s daughter went to Clemson and that’s all S. Carolina has going for it besides the shrimp and grits at Magnolia’s.

        • GoRangers23

          I got married in Prattville, Alabama and I accidentally set my wedding date on the day of the Auburn Alabama game. I had men at my wedding with headphones in their ears. Lol

      • JacobMcCandles

        OU has the best offense in NCAA ufortunately have a terrible defense