The fact the Rangers have four starters in the All-Star Game, and six players overall on the All-Star roster, and that Dane Dunning is now 8-1 with the fourth-best ERA in the American league are connected.
Other than Jung and Eovaldi, who weren’t wth the Rangers last year, what is the difference that brought out the best in Semien, Seagar, Heim, Garcia, and Dunning?
It has to be the system: the manager and coaching staff. It’s amazing what happens when you have a general manager with a normal-sized ego who doesn’t have to be the smartest guy in the room all the time and who hires the best minds to lead his team on the field rather than a guy he can easily manipulate.
Gone, thankfully, is the never ending babble about process Rangers fans heard daily from Chris Woodward to explain why the Rangers were failing so badly. It’s a process. Once they learn the process things will click. They need to learn the process.
You had a guy with absolutely zero experience, in way over his head, trying to re-engineer the game at its highest level with overkill.
The players responded accordingly.
What a difference a new philosophy of experience over process makes. What a difference track record makes.
It was always a headscratcher how this idea that you hire a manager with zero experience gained so much traction in major league baseball. Of course, the reason is lack of experience meant the team had to shell out far less to pay that manager and those coaches. But I can think of no other industry where you put the responsibility of your entire day-to-day operations into the hands of someone who has never done it before.
“Hey, welcome aboard this flight. Great news! We have chosen you to fly the plane today.”
“Uh. I’ve never flown a plane before in my life.”
“You’ve been on a flight before, right? So you get the process. Go down the runway as fast as you can until the plane gets airborne, then land it when you get where you’re going. We have smart people in the tower who can tell you how to do everything. You’ll pick up the process. Good luck.”
And that is why the Rangers crashed and burned the last six years and why they are soaring this year and why they have six All Stars, and why guys like Dane Dunning, who had never won a road game in his Rangers career, pitched six brilliant innings against the Red Sox in Boston to go to 8-1.
Process doesn’t bring out the best in players.
It’s also why teams like the St Louis Cardinals, who fired a really accomplished manager because he knew how the fly the plane better than the guy in the tower and that rubbed the guy in the tower the wrong way, hired an inexperienced manager, and have now crashed and burned. Same with the Chicago White Sox. And why the Los Angeles Angels, with the two best players in baseball, don’t know how to get out of the rut they are stuck in.
They plucked the guy in seat 15C to fly the plane.
If anyone wants to know the value of experience in the dugout—what impact a manager really has—look no further than the Texas Rangers.
After a devastating loss to Houston on Monday, panic didn’t set in. Calm was restored. They got back to their brand of baseball and beat Boston 6-2 (their brand being getting great starting pitching, offense when they need it, then the bullpen comes in and gives the runs back).
They didn’t get back to process, they got back to baseball.
Process is for cheese whiz.