“This is critical for us. Especially for me as a manager. There are things that are at stake here.”
Commenting on his team’s recent woes, Rangers manager Chris Woodward sounded like a man whose job is on the line. It might very well be. But through no fault of his own.
Disasters need scapegoats. They cannot fire the players. The executives sure won’t fire themselves. So, unless ownership does some housecleaning, the only scapegoat is the manager, fair or not.
Chris Woodward might very well be a fine major league manager. But how would anyone know? He hasn’t had much to work with in his two-plus years.
Joe Torre’s first managing gig was with the Mets. It didn’t go well. It’s doubtful anyone projected him as a future Hall of Fame manager.
Who would have given Whitey Herzog much of a managerial future after a 47-91 season in his debut (with the Rangers of course)?
It’s hard to win major league games with a minor league roster. And that’s the challenge Woodward is facing.
He said jobs are on the line. But whose jobs? His options are pretty limited. They would be foolish to bring up Jung or Huff at this point. Let them mature, bring them up when they are ready. Injuries slowed both players’ development down a bit.
Andy Ibanez came up to compete with Solak at second. Eli White is doing the same thing. Both are putting up worse numbers than the guy they are trying to replace.
Maybe it’s time for Curtis Terry. Woodward said he will be here “sometime soon.” Does he displace Nate Lowe?
Jobs are on the line, indeed. But unless the Rangers sign a shortstop, second baseman, catcher, left fielder, first baseman and a handful of quality starters in the offseason, they have nobody waiting in line to take those jobs.
So, most likely, it’s Woodward’s and his staff’s jobs on the line. Baseball isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair.
Woodward might turn out to be a very good manager. Chances are, he will have to find that out somewhere else.