Rangers begin interviews for new manager with two candidates
Pitching coach Maddux, Triple-A manager Buechele interviewed Tuesday
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' search for a new manager has moved into the interview stage. Triple-A Round Rock manager Steve Buechele and pitching coach Mike Maddux interviewed on Tuesday.
At some point this week, interim manager Tim Bogar is expected to have his interview. The Rangers were 14-8 under him, winning 13 of their last 16 games. That at least gave general manager Jon Daniels a strong hint of what the Rangers would look like with Bogar at the helm. But it will not stop Daniels from conducting a thorough search to make sure the Rangers hire the right person, either somebody already inside the organization or from outside.
Daniels has spent the past couple of weeks talking with many people in the industry, trying to come up with the best candidates possible. He has yet to reveal those names.
Some are obvious. Others may not be, considering there were approximately 210 coaches at the Major League level this season and another 180 managers in the Minor Leagues. In addition, the latest trend in baseball is to hire former players with little managerial experience.
The Rangers aren't likely to go there.
But here are some names -- hardly an exhaustive list -- that have almost certainly been at least considered by the Rangers, or at least recommended to them.
Bogar: He is obviously considered the favorite for the job after the Rangers performed well during his interim tenure at the end of the season. Bogar has a nice balance of Minor League-managerial and Major League-coaching experience, and the Rangers' young players responded well to him. He had a .576 winning percentage in five Minor League seasons, winning Manager of the Year three times.
Maddux: He has been exclusively a pitching coach since his playing career ended. This was his sixth season with the Rangers after six with the Brewers. Maddux interviewed for the Cubs' managerial opening two years ago, while declining a similar opportunity with the Red Sox. He is considered one of the top pitching coaches in baseball, and his game preparation is impressive.
Buechele: He spent 11 years in the Major Leagues as a third baseman for the Rangers, Pirates and Cubs after being drafted out of Stanford. He was out of baseball full-time until becoming a Minor League manager for the Rangers in 2009, with one year at Class A Bakersfield, four at Double-A Frisco and last season at Triple-A Round Rock. Excellent at developing young talent, his teams made the playoffs in four of six seasons.
Ron Gardenhire: He was just dismissed by the Twins. Gardenhire led Minnesota to six division titles in 13 years, but the team never advanced beyond the first round. He was the 2010 American League Manager of the Year, beating out Ron Washington. Daniels said on Sunday that the Rangers might consider managers let go by their clubs at the end of the season.
DeMarlo Hale: A former Rangers Minor League manager and coach who was interviewed in 2003 when Buck Showalter was hired, Hale is highly respected in the game. He has been a Major League coach since 2002 with the Rangers, Red Sox and Orioles, and he is currently the Blue Jays' as bench coach. He had a winning record as a Minor League manager.
Tim Wallach: He is currently serving as the Dodgers' bench coach after interviewing with the Tigers and the Mariners for their managerial openings last offseason. He has been a third-base coach and a hitting coach, and he was the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year in 2009 while with Albuquerque. The former third baseman was a five-time All-Star in a 17-year career mainly with the Expos.
Torey Lovullo: The former Major League infielder has long been considered a top managerial candidate. He has previously interviewed with the Dodgers and Cubs. He has spent the past four seasons as John Farrell's bench coach in Toronto and Boston. Lovullo has a strong Minor League record in nine years as a manager that includes four postseason appearances and two league championships.
Scott Servais: Currently the assistant general manager for the Angels, Servais was the Rangers' farm director under Daniels. During his six years, the Rangers developed one of the best farm systems in the game. Servais has never managed, but Daniels always thought highly of him.
Brad Mills: He is a longtime coach who has worked under Terry Francona in Philadelphia, Boston and Cleveland. Once considered one of the top managerial prospects in the game, he got his chance with the Astros in 2010-12. His record was 171-274, but the Astros were just beginning their massive rebuilding effort, and he was working with very little talent.
Jose Oquendo: He has a similar resume to Washington. Oquendo has spent the past 15 seasons on the Cardinals' coaching staff -- one as bench coach and 14 as third-base coach -- after one season as a Minor League instructor and one as a Minors manager. He managed Puerto Rico in the 2005 and '09 World Baseball Classics. He played for 12 seasons in the Majors as a utility infielder.
Ron Wotus: Not well-known because he never played in the Major Leagues, Wotus has spent the past 16 years on the Giants' coaching staff and was the bench coach for Bruce Bochy on two World Series-winning teams. He was a Minor League manager in 1991-97 with an excellent record and six playoff appearances in seven seasons.
Sandy Alomar Jr.: He has spent five seasons with the Indians as the first-base, third-base and bench coach. He played one season for the Rangers in 2005 during a long and distinguished career as a Major League catcher. He also managed the Indians for six games in 2012 after Manny Acta was dismissed, but that is his only managerial experience.