The man who has been hired as the Texas Rangers’ bench coach will be sitting next to the person he credits for turning him into a major league ballplayer.
Tim Bogar was hired Monday as the right-hand man to manager Ron Washington, who was the infield instructor at Triple A Tidewater in 1991 and 1992. Bogar was a pupil of the self-proclaimed infield guru and made his big league debut with the New York Mets a year later.
“I remember him teaching me how to become a shortstop,” Bogar said. “He basically got me over the hump to be a major league player.”
Bogar beat out three other candidates to replace Jackie Moore, who was dismissed Oct. 2 after five seasons. The familiarity between Bogar and Washington, not to mention Bogar’s ties to pitching coach Mike Maddux and hitting coach Dave Magadan, should make for an easy transition.
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“It’s nice to know some faces, and it’s nice to know some personalities going in and to understand how things are going to go,” Bogar said Monday during a conference call. “It’s always nice to walk into a clubhouse as the new guy and be able to know some of those faces when you first walk in.”
Bogar, who turns 47 next week, will also be the Rangers’ infield instructor and be in charge of planning spring training, responsibilities that fell to former first base coach Dave Anderson.
The Rangers will soon begin interviewing candidates for that post after Anderson was also let go Oct. 2, with the ideal candidate able to coach catchers. Jamie Quirk, who interviewed to be bench coach, could be in the mix.
Bogar comes to the Rangers after spending this season as the manager of Double A Arkansas in the Los Angeles Angels organization. He was previously a bench coach with Boston in 2012 under Bobby Valentine after serving three seasons as a base coach.
He was Tampa Bay’s quality-assurance coach in 2008 and also had jurisdiction over the infielders and encouraged the use of shifts based on scouting reports.
“It’s something the industry is going to a little more now,” Bogar said. “It’s important to put the players in positions to give the pitcher the best success possible.”
General manager Jon Daniels described Bogar as an overachiever during his big league career. He batted only .229, but lasted nine seasons with three teams by doing extra work and relying on more than talent to survive.
“That’s ultimately what we’re looking for from our coaches, guys to help our players get the most out of their abilities,” Daniels said. “Tim had a reputation for being a very smart player and, equally so, a great reputation in the game as being a great communicator, very prepared and generally a smart baseball mind.”
Some of that also comes from Washington, who Bogar said cared for him more as a person than a player. He’s never forgotten that, and now he gets a chance to work with Washington.
“That went a long way for me, and I’ve tried to use that in the way I approach players and the way I go about my business,” Bogar said. “That’s what Wash got me to understand and see.”