Why Texas decided it was time for a change

August 18th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ARLINGTON -- “Did Chris Woodward truly get a fair shake at being the manager of the Texas Rangers?” a reporter asked general manager Chris Young and president of baseball operations Jon Daniels on Monday after the club announced it was parting ways with its manager in his fourth season.

Despite the club’s 2022 record under Woodward (51-63), it was a logical question. He inherited a club on the decline and was tasked with leading the organization through a rebuild it didn’t fully commit to until more than two years into his tenure.

Daniels noted a day later in his interview with 105.3 The Fan (KRLD-FM) that when Woodward was hired, they were “in-betweeners.” When it came time to rebuild, Woodward embraced it and led the club through that, as well as the COVID-affected 2020 season and lockout-affected 2021-22 offseason.

And Daniels has always been honest and ready to accept responsibility for his roles as both general manager and president of baseball operations, so he openly noted his own responsibility in the situation at hand.

But less than 24 hours after Daniels’ radio appearance, he followed Woodward out the door when the Rangers announced they were parting ways with their president of baseball operations after 17 years in the organization.

Young will assume all duties as it relates to baseball operations for the rest of the season and the foreseeable future.

“We accepted the plan on a rebuild, yes,” Rangers majority owner Ray Davis said on Wednesday. “But as we look forward, even though Jon proved that he could build a winning organization, I felt like [Young] was the right guy to lead us forward.”

Davis was blunt in his assessment of the organization in a news conference on Wednesday, noting multiple times that “the bottom line is that we’re not very good.” He felt like it was time for a change, and he had the ability to do so, on top of the dismissal of Woodward earlier in the week.

“I’m not a good loser, and all I can say to the fans is we’re treating this with a sense of urgency,” Davis said. “That’s why we made a couple of moves this week, and we plan on putting a very competitive team on the field.”

Even so, Davis said both Daniels and Young were shocked by the decision on Wednesday, as was interim manager Tony Beasley.

“It's been a pretty wild 72 hours for me, obviously,” Beasley said. “As far as the news today, Jon Daniels is a friend first for me. He hired me and he’s done a lot for me and my family. There’s nothing good about this for me. I don't take any joy in speaking about this today. Usually I don't mind answering questions, but today I do.

“He's special, he's been professional, he's been honest. Everything that I could ever imagine. He's been with me through some tough times in my life, personally. So I'm just grateful for the opportunity that he gave me.”

Now with Young and Beasley leading the way, the Rangers will have to power through the last month and a half of the 2022 season with the vision of a championship culture hopefully in sight for the future.

Beasley, specifically, has the task of leading a clubhouse through an enormous time of transition for the organization, something he wasn’t prepared for, or ever considering, 48 hours ago.

“I think we honor J.D. in a way by keeping it going forward,” Beasley said. “We just got to keep it moving. It's a tough day for Chris [Young] as well. No one's celebrating today. But we know we have a job to do. And we're going to stick together and get it done. I can focus on the things that I can control. Rome wasn’t built in a day. We are where we are. We've got some work to do, I realize that, but we've got to lay one brick at a time.”