Rangers interview Howe for bench coach job

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Art Howe interviewed Tuesday with the Texas Rangers about being the bench coach for first-time manager Ron Washington.

While Howe's hiring seemed imminent, the Rangers said they wouldn't have any announcements Tuesday about more staff changes.

Washington was named the Rangers manager Monday. He said during his introduction that he wanted Howe, a major-league manager for 14 seasons and one of his former bosses, to be his bench coach.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who just three weeks ago hired Howe to be Charlie Manuel's third-base coach and infield instructor, gave Texas permission to speak with Howe.

Howe's interview in Texas came on the same day the rest of the Phillies coaches were in Philadelphia for the start of that team's organizational meetings.

Howe was Oakland's manager from 1996-2002, when Washington was on his staff the entire time. That was Washington's first big-league coaching position, and he remained with the Athletics until replacing Buck Showalter in Texas.

"I admired the way he did things and how sharp he was," Washington said Monday. "Art is the kind, I don't think he has an ego. He's about helping everybody."

The 59-year-old Howe also managed the Houston Astros (1989-93) and New York Mets (2003-04). Before becoming the Astros manager, he was on Bobby Valentine's staff with the Rangers from 1985-88.

Don Wakamatsu has been the Rangers' bench coach the past four seasons and was a finalist for the managerial vacancy. He has one year left on his contract but might be in a different role if he stays in Texas.

"I know this, and I know Ron agrees, we talked about it. We are better with Don on our staff," general manager Jon Daniels said. "That's my hope going forward."

Wakamatsu is also a candidate for Oakland's managerial vacancy, created when Ken Macha was fired last month. The Athletics interviewed Washington for that job last week and have received permission from Texas to speak with Wakamatsu.