Texas Rangers

Michael Young doubtful to be next Rangers manager. Who else could they consider?

Michael Young hasn’t been out of uniform long,  but he’s enjoying his time with his family to consider becoming the Rangers’ next manager.
Michael Young hasn’t been out of uniform long, but he’s enjoying his time with his family to consider becoming the Rangers’ next manager. rmallison@star-telegram.com

The inaugural pregame media briefing for interim manager Don Wakamatsu on Friday came only minutes after general manager Jon Daniels addressed the firing of Jeff Banister.

It wasn’t the time to ask Wakamatsu much of substance, and he didn’t have much of substance to offer. Only four hours earlier he was the Texas Rangers’ bench coach, not the manager for the final 10 games of the season.

But, as one former Rangers manager said, baseball doesn’t stop for anybody, and the business now at hand for the Rangers is to find a manager whose style and voice can resonate with the developing players who will shape the course of the franchise.

The veterans need to be on board, too.

Wakamatsu is going to be a candidate, Daniels said, just as he was 12 years ago before losing out to Ron Washington. So, the second pregame media briefing for Wakamatsu on Saturday became a job interview of sorts, with questions about what he’s learned and how he has grown since his first shot at managing.

Wakamatsu, who was the Kansas City Royals bench coach during their back-to-back runs to the World Series, sounded like he will be someone the Rangers strongly consider.

“Every first-year manager goes in trying to save the world, and I think their second go-round they’re truly understanding of how things really work,” Wakamatsu said. “How to deal with the players, how to deal with the media a little better, and, for lack of a better word, soften a little bit.

“The greatest lesson I learned from (Kansas City) is to allow them to develop that culture in the clubhouse rather than you try to put your stamp on it. I think it’s very difficult to make 25 guys the same personality as you are.”

The Rangers interviewed eight candidates in 2014 after Washington resigned in September, so Wakamatsu is likely to have some competition. And the questions won’t be from beat writers trying to fill their notebooks.

Here’s a look at a completely unofficial list of candidates the Rangers could consider:

Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels says that a new voice was needed in the manager’s seat, so Jeff Banister was let go Friday.



Michael Young

Previous managerial experience: None

The Rangers Hall of Famer would be the dream hire for Daniels, and, essentially, Young has been interviewed. He hasn’t been out of the game long, and his role as an assistant general manager has given him a good look at what the Rangers have coming through the system. Young, though, isn’t about to give up the family time he wanted when he retired or the freedom to do whatever the heck he wants. He went golfing this weekend in Montana. Scratch him off the list.

Don Wakamatsu

Previous managerial experience: Seattle Mariners, 2009-10; minors

Daniels said something quite telling Friday afternoon in naming Wakamatsu as interim manager — he’s comfortable with him. Daniels had no problem taking on Wakamatsu last offseason even though Steve Buechele was already in place as bench coach. Wakamatsu came in late on the Royals’ rebuild, but helped push it across the finish line.

Jayce Tingler

Previous managerial experience: Minors, 2008-10

Tingler will finish the season as the bench coach to Wakamatsu after serving as Banister’s field coordinator in 2015 and 2016. He has been an assistant general manager the past two seasons with a focus on the farm system. Tingler knows the players coming through the system and the coaches doing the developing. He’s one of Daniels’ trusted lieutenants.

Joe Girardi

Previous managerial experience: Florida Marlins, 2006; New York Yankees, 2008-17

Girardi is certainly the biggest name out there, but would he be a fit on a young team like the Rangers and would he want to take his lumps for a season or two as the Rangers rebuild? If he is willing to leave his job as an analyst for MLB Network, Arlington might be an attractive destination.

Carlos Beltran

Previous managerial experience: None

One of the best players of his generation, Beltran retired after finally winning a World Series last year with the Houston Astros. The Rangers gave him a chance at the playoffs in 2016. The trend in MLB is to hire recently retired players as managers. Beltran, who interviewed for the New York Yankees’ job last offseason, fits that bill.

Raul Ibanez

Previous managerial experience: None

Another respected former player, Ibanez is a special adviser to Los Angeles Dodgers president Andrew Friedman and has done analyst work for ESPN. He was a highly respect player during a long career that ended in 2014 with the Royals. He interviewed for the Tampa Bay Rays job in 2014 even though he hadn’t officially retired as a player. If the Rangers are seeking a bilingual manager, both Ibanez and Beltran speak Spanish and English.

Chris Woodward

Previous managerial experience: None

The Dodgers’ third-base coach retired as a player in 2012 and immediately stepped into coaching. He has never been a manager at any level, but he has spent the past three seasons absorbing the data and analytics that help make the Dodgers click (in addition to their outrageous payroll). Daniels said that all the Rangers do is under evaluation, and that includes the data they are giving players and making sure players can apply it.

Third baseman Adrian Beltre, the undisputed leader of the Texas Rangers, says that the decision to fire Jeff Banister was up to the front office.

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