ARLINGTON -- The Chris Woodward era of the Texas Rangers has come to an end, the club announced on Monday afternoon.
Woodward and the club parted ways during a 51-63 season, with third-base coach Tony Beasley set to serve as the interim manager through the end of the 2022 season.
The Rangers went 211-287 under Woodward’s direction during his nearly four-year tenure as manager. The skipper was extended through the 2023 season this past Nov. 19, as both the front office and ownership emphasized their faith in Woodward’s ability to lead the big league club. That deal included a club option for ’24.
Woodward was hired as Texas’ 19th manager following a three-year stint as the third-base and infield coach for the Dodgers. Prior to his time in Los Angeles, he held various coaching roles with the Mariners from 2013-15.
“I think it goes without saying that he's represented us as an organization with class and dignity at every turn,” said president of baseball operations Jon Daniels. “He brought an unparalleled energy, passion and work ethic, genuine care for people and the players. He was the same person every day with everybody, and was just real positivity in what were real challenging circumstances, from the pandemic to a multiyear rebuild through the lockout this year. We have great appreciation and admiration for the work he's put in and helped us in taking these steps.”
Both Daniels and general manager Chris Young said the timing of the decision was made in part to build momentum toward winning in 2023 and beyond, something they felt could take place more rapidly by releasing Woodward now, as opposed to waiting until the end of the season.
While acknowledging the steps the club has taken this season, Daniels emphasized that the Rangers are still not where they would like to be as an organization.
“I think first, we've been pretty straightforward that we, as a leadership team, did not come into the season thinking we have put together a championship roster,” Daniels said. “[But] we thought we had taken a major step forward in talent from where we were a year ago. We've certainly had aspirations, maybe, to overachieve some -- and still do have those [aspirations]. But we were, and continue to be, realistic about where we are.
“That said, we do think that we can be better than our record, and better than the way that we [have] played at times. That leads to making a decision now, rather than waiting until the end of the year. We think we have an opportunity to begin addressing some items with a change in leadership style.”
Rangers’ record under Woodward
2019: 78-84 (.481), 3rd in AL West
2020: 22-38 (.367), 5th
2021: 60-102 (.370), 5th
2022: 51-63 (.447), 3rd
Woodward and the Rangers haven’t sniffed a winning record since reaching the .500 mark following a June 1 matchup against the Rays, due mostly in part to the club’s record in one-run games (6-24).
The Rangers did not put together a winning record throughout Woodward’s tenure as manager as the club underwent a full-scale rebuild following the 2020 season and its 22-38 record.
Texas entered 2022 hoping for a much-improved record after losing 102 games the previous year, but the blockbuster signings of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien only provided so much to a club that lacked consistency on both sides of the ball throughout the season.
Woodward oversaw the transition from the days of Adrián Beltré and Elvis Andrus to the present configuration of the Rangers, but he was unable to guide the club out of the rebuild and into hopeful playoff contention in 2022.
Daniels acknowledged and took responsibility for the hand Woodward was dealt as manager. When Woodward was hired to replace Banister, the Rangers had already gone through back-to-back losing seasons. But the front office did not fully commit to a full-scale rebuild until after the 2020 season.
“I think he had a challenging hand from the standpoint of ultimate wins and losses,” Daniels said. “Those elements ... and really, the biggest one is the rebuild. We were kind of in-between when he was hired, and we really committed to it in the middle of his time here. He was fully on board with that, he embraced the move to a young club. [I’m not sure how] I would characterize it, but I think he made the most of what he had to work with.”
Rangers' 2022 record, month by month
Even so, the decision to part ways with Woodward was about more than just the wins and losses. In the end, it came down to what kind of leadership style Young, Daniels and the rest of the front office felt like it would take to further the championship culture of the club.
Talent and roster construction is something that will need to immediately be addressed this offseason, but the leadership and style of play will also be at the forefront of building a championship culture.
“I think it's reflected in the way we played to some degree for the past six weeks,” Young said. “Coming into the All-Star break, we were in an okay position. We’ve fallen off, obviously. I think that we see some things that we can tighten up in terms of reaching championship standards. Really, that's a big part of this decision. It's no fault of Woody's, necessarily. Sometimes it just takes a different style, a different leadership voice to achieve those things. And that's why we made the decision.”