Monday, October 21, 2013
What will Tim Bogar bring to the bench?
By Richard Durrett
The question most of you have asked me on Twitter doesn't really matter, of course: Will Tim Bogar hug Ron Washington after games?
Probably not. That was something Jackie Moore and Washington did, and I always liked that. It just sort of happened and they stuck with it. But 2014 is a new season and there's a new coach sitting beside Washington now.
The Rangers made official on Monday the hiring of Tim Bogar. For starters, Bogar turns 47 on Monday. That certainly means the coaching staff just skewed younger in Texas, as Bogar is 27 years younger than Moore. There wasn't anyone the Rangers could find with more experience in the game than Moore. But after interviewing four candidates and discussing some others, Texas decided to go with Bogar, who was most recently the Double-A manager for the Angels' affiliate in Arkansas.
General manager Jon Daniels said several factors led to Bogar's hiring. Among them:
His baseball background: Bogar was a player for nine seasons in the big leagues as a utility infielder with the Mets, Astros and Dodgers, doing whatever he could to stay in the majors. He managed in the minor leagues with Cleveland, Houston and Los Angeles. He also coached first base and third base, was a quality assurance coach and handled infielders. He was the bench coach in Boston in 2012. So he's coached all over the diamond.
How he uses information: Bogar was credited with getting Tampa Bay to start using shifts in the infield to play off hitters' tendencies when he was there in 2008. Bogar said Monday that he believes the information is important, but you have to pick and choose how much of it to give to the players based on whether it will help them.
His previous relationships with current Rangers coaches: Bogar coached with Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan when both were in Boston. Bogar played with Mike Maddux in Maddux's final season in Houston in 2001. And most importantly, he was a player when Washington was a coach for Tidewater, the Mets' Triple-A affiliate, in the early 1990s. Bogar credits Washington with helping him become the player he was in the bigs.
“He got me over the hump to be a major league player,” Bogar said. “I knew he cared more about me as a person than a player. That went a long way for me. I try to use that in the way I approach players and the way I go about my business.”
Winning organizations: Daniels noted that Bogar coached under Terry Francona in Boston, a winning organization, and under Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay. Being in those competitive environments can't hurt.
Bogar takes over two of the main duties that used to fall to Dave Anderson, who was let go as first-base coach shortly after the season. Bogar will organize and run spring training, and he'll be the club's primary infield instructor.
Bogar says his main job is to help the manager any way he can, providing him with information during the game to help him make decisions. But Bogar will also do whatever is needed when the game isn't played to help Washington do his job better. We'll hear -- and see -- much more from Bogar beginning in February in Surprise, Ariz.