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Seismic Homestand Remakes Rangers – Sports Illustrated

It’s nearly impossible to believe that at one point in the Texas Rangers’ recently-completed homestand that the most newsworthy thing was Jeff the Rally Bird.

I mean, it’s not every day that a pigeon lands near first base in the middle of an inning and a four-run Rangers rally follows. Then, the next morning, Jeff is a meme-able presence on social media, shows up again, sparks another rally and a legend was born.

Was the front office worried Jeff was stealing their thunder? If they were, they took care of that quick.

By the end of the homestand, manager Chris Woodward was out and interim manager Tony Beasley was in. Team president Jon Daniels was out and general manager Chris Young was in charge of, well, everything baseball-related.

Woodward’s firing felt out of the blue, honestly. At one point during Monday’s press conference, both Daniels and Young were asked if Woodward got a fair shake as manager. After all, the pandemic nearly wiped out the 2020 season and the Rangers decided to pursue a full rebuild last season after starting a half-hearted one when Woodward arrived. Usually the manager gets a little more leeway in those instances.

Instead, Woodward got a head start on a job search. Daniels acknowledged Woodward had a challenging hand but he didn’t complain about it.

“I don’t know how I would characterize it but I think he made the most of what he had to work with,” Daniels said.

And, yet, the pair fired him. Daniels talked about the team not “overachieving,” an odd turn of phrase for a franchise that has made clear it wasn’t ready to contend this season. They also talked about the “little things,” that sometimes-vague talking point about what helps a team win or lose games. It appeared the Woodward’s firing really boiled down to preparation — they didn’t believe that Woodward was preparing the team in the right way every day.

They said things had gotten “loose,” without much beyond vague elaboration.

“It’s not necessarily the content of the preparation but the way it’s utilized,” Daniels said. “You know, the way we utilize meetings the way we utilize different resources throughout the day, creating a structure that’s really tailored towards winning a game every single day.”

If that’s to be believed, then this was all contributing to the Rangers’ slide, not necessarily in wins and losses, but in quality of play. You can lose and play well. There were times the past six weeks where the Rangers lost and looked bad doing it.

The Rangers elevated Beasley because they believe his respect across the clubhouse, plus his eight years as a minor league manager, can improve that preparation and discipline.

A piece in The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday detailed how quickly Beasley made small adjustments. Everyone on the team wore the same color warm-up shirt during batting practice. Pitchers spent time on fielding drills normally done during spring training. Beasley also shortened certain pre-game meetings, but also made them mandatory.

The most interesting development was that shortstop Corey Seager, the team’s highest-paid player, was on the field during batting practice. He usually isn’t. He usually hits and prepares in the indoor cages during that time.

That was a point Young made on Monday. Baseball is a blend of individual and team preparation, and the Rangers must find …….

Source: https://www.si.com/mlb/rangers/news/jon-daniels-chris-woodward-chris-young-texas-baseball-changes

It’s nearly impossible to believe that at one point in the Texas Rangers’ recently-completed homestand that the most newsworthy thing was Jeff the Rally Bird.

I mean, it’s not every day that a pigeon lands near first base in the middle of an inning and a four-run Rangers rally follows. Then, the next morning, Jeff is a meme-able presence on social media, shows up again, sparks another rally and a legend was born.

Was the front office worried Jeff was stealing their thunder? If they were, they took care of that quick.

By the end of the homestand, manager Chris Woodward was out and interim manager Tony Beasley was in. Team president Jon Daniels was out and general…….

It’s nearly impossible to believe that at one point in the Texas Rangers’ recently-completed homestand that the most newsworthy thing was Jeff the Rally Bird.

I mean, it’s not every day that a pigeon lands near first base in the middle of an inning and a four-run Rangers rally follows. Then, the next morning, Jeff is a meme-able presence on social media, shows up again, sparks another rally and a legend was born.

Was the front office worried Jeff was stealing their thunder? If they were, they took care of that quick.

By the end of the homestand, manager Chris Woodward was out and interim manager Tony Beasley was in. Team president Jon Daniels was out and general…….

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