Chris Woodward
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Rangers name Chris Woodward as new manager


The Rangers have hired Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward as their next manager, according to a team announcement on Saturday.

The 42-year-old Woodward was rumored to be the frontrunner for the gig on Friday. The Rangers interviewed nearly a dozen candidates in their search to supplant former manager Jeff Banister and interim skipper Don Wakamatsu, including Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, Astros bench coach Joe Espada, and Angels special assistant Eric Chavez, among others. There was some thought that the club wanted to wrap up the process by the start of the General Mangers Meetings on Monday, and it appears they’ve now met that deadline.

Woodward capped an 11-year career with the Blue Jays, Mets, Mariners, Braves, and Red Sox at the end of the 2011 season. While he doesn’t come with any prior managerial experience in Major League Baseball, he managed the New Zealand team during the World Baseball Classic in 2017 and has extensive experience as a former minor league infield coordinator and infield coach for the Mariners, not to mention the two years he spent as bench coach in the Dodgers’ organization.

The new skipper isn’t the only addition to the Rangers’ front office this offseason. The team also hired former scout and USA Baseball director Matt Blood as Director of Player Management on Friday and promoted Assistant Director of Player Development, Paul Kruger, to Director of Minor League Operations.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.