On Monday it was announced that Tim Bogar would not be returning to be Jeff Banister's bench coach. Just as some fans believe the situation is rather unfair to Bogie, who was under contract with the Rangers through 2015, his best interests were in mind with the ending of the marriage. As Evan Grant points out, "It [essentially] would have been asking a guy who went 14-8 as the interim manager to take a demotion," which I think is about as well as it could be put.
Listen, like most people, I thought Tim Bogar was a lock to be the next Rangers manager. It was as close to a forgone conclusion as there is in sports, in my mind. That the front office decided to hold an open competition, as opposed to rewarding the guy who led the worst team in MLB to a 14-8 record as interim manager, should tell you about all you need to know about how they judged his tenure. No, it's not to say what he did wasn't at least mildly impressive given the circumstances of the 2014 Rangers. But before we all start standing up in defense of Tim Bogar, let's first understand that the games he won were of the least consequence of the entire season, and that he had expanded rosters at his disposal. Having the ability to piecemeal a bullpen for 4-5 innings per game -- where pitchers are generally throwing 1-2 innings at a time -- gives a manager a better chance of looking good. And Bogar did look good.
In the end, though, through hiring Banister it kind of gives the impression that Texas simply wanted to start anew after Ron Washington, that they obtained their real target instead of opting for the safe route.
On Tuesday Jeff Wilson tweeted that Steve Buechele met with Jeff Banister about the bench coach opening, and with Banister looking to finalize his staff sooner rather than later, Buechele would appear to be the frontrunner. (Which is really to say the beat guys haven't been dropping any other names, so he's the frontrunner by default.)
In the same vein, current Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan -- who was bypassed by the Yankees to be their hitting coach in 2015 -- says he is "sticking" with the Rangers, according to the fantastic A's beat writer Susan Slusser. This comes after interviewing with the A's to be their next hitting coach.
As an aside, I've come to understand many Texas Rangers fans aren't particularly thrilled to have Magadan back, presumably based off how the Ranger offense has performed over the last two seasons. It's weird, I know. The truth is, if you want to see offense pick back up in Texas, YouTube is a good place to start, because the lineups of old -- filled with Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz and Michael Young -- are dead. This is a different team now and, minus the jet stream, a totally different look on the offensive end. The players who will deliver Texas back to the promised land no longer mash home runs and slug opponents to death; they've instead been replaced by guys like Leonys Martin (who kills with speed) and Shin-Soo Choo (who gets on base more than Casanova).
It's not the hitting coach; it's the formula.
Plus, if you were going to use 2014 as an example to why Dave Magadan should no longer be the hitting coach, it's a pretty terrible example being that most of the roster was gone by mid-season.
Should Mike Maddux return as pitching coach, which at this point I have no reason to assume otherwise, then the Rangers coaching staff is tentatively set. That is, if Buechele is indeed destined to be the bench coach.
Either way, as I've said and as I will say, the coaching staff is far less important than how Jon Daniels manages the roster this offseason. I still suppose it's relevant though.