WEEKLY OTT – September 27, 2018

In our first Off Topic Thursday, we discuss the third managerial search in the last 12 years for Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers.

Off Topic Thursday

Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels will hire his third manager in 12 years after cutting ties with Jeff Bannister last week.  Barring something unexpected, this will likely be the final time Daniels hires a manager for the ballclub.

Daniels hired a baseball lifer in his 50s who was a first-time manager each of the first two times around in Ron Washington and Bannister.  Both candidates seemingly came out of no where during their respective interview processes.  Will history repeat itself or will Texas opt for a younger candidate who is a little closer to the players in age?

Here are my top five candidates for the job.

1) Mark DeRosa

DeRosa is my top choice to take over as manager for the Rangers.  The primary reason is he’s the closest thing to Michael Young you are going to get.  Most Ranger fans seem to want Young to be the next manager, but he is not interested in the job.  Young is, however, expected to be part of the decision-making process much like he was in 2014 when the Rangers hired Bannister.  It seems likely that Young would endore DeRosa.  DeRosa, 43, is only five years removed from playing the game, is intelligent and Ivy League educated, is widely respected throughout baseball, and is a former Ranger.  He has no managerial experience, but the recent trend has seen teams bring in guys who fit a certain profile over years of experience.  DeRosa stays connected to the game through his work at MLB Network and he was a finalist a year ago for the New York Mets manager job.

2) Omar Vizquel

Vizquel is a very close second on my top five list.  He is a hero in Venezuela and managed his country in last year’s World Baseball Classic.  The communication issues that Bannister faced may not be an issue with Vizquel as he is bilingual and highly respected by players and coaches alike.  Vizquel, 51, is another former Ranger player, who played alongside Elvis Andrus in 2009.  Vizquel has worked as an infield instructor and first base coach with the Detroit Tigers and currently manages an A-ball team in the Chicago White Sox organization.

3) Don Wakamatsu

Would the Rangers have won the World Series in 2011 if Wakamatsu was the manager instead of Ron Washington?  Second guessing is a waste of time, but Wakamatsu was the runner-up when the Rangers hired Wash in the fall of 2006.  The 55-year-old served as a bench coach for the Rangers from 2003-2006 under Buck Showalter, he worked on Wash’s coaching staff in 2007 as the third base coach, and finally got his opportunity to manage his own team in 2008 with the Seattle Mariners.  Wakamatsu is not the most exciting candidate for this job, but his style and demeanor are the complete opposite of Bannister.  He is also highly thought of by the Rangers front office, especially Daniels.

4) Sandy Alomar, Jr.

Another candidate and another former Ranger.  The 52-year-old played for the Rangers in 2005 and has been an Indians coach since 2009.  He has no managerial experience outside of a six-game interim stint in 2012 leading Cleveland to a 3-3 record.  Interestingly, Alomar, Jr. has appeared on lists like this one for eight years now.  He’s interviewed with the Indians, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox.  The Rangers front office seems to make it’s managerial decisions based on the wow-factor (Wash: wow, how is this guy not a manager? Banny: wow, this guy has an incredible story).  Alomar, Jr. does not have a wow factor but he has learned under one of the best in the game in Terry Francona and would seemingly be a great fit on a rebuilding team like Texas.

5) Joe Girardi

I don’t think Girardi will even get an interview – especially since he was dismissed from New York because of “communication issues” just like Bannister – but he should.  Girardi has won a World Series as a player and a manager.  His experience speaks for itself as he’s won 988 regular season games and 52 playoff games even though he’s only 53 years old.  Girardi’s daughter reportedly goes to TCU so it is thought that the Rangers job could be of interest to him.  I am not convinced that the Rangers will have mutual interest though.

Honorable Mention: Ramon Vazquez, Bill Haselman, Chris Woodward

Brian Roe is the founder and lead writer at The Roe Report.  He spent five years working for the Dallas Stars and was a contributor at Hockey’s Future, The Hockey Writers, and NHL Intel.  Follow Brian on Twitter @brianproe.