The Texas Rangers are one of the best teams and stories in baseball. After six-straight years of under .500 baseball, including just 68 and 60 wins in the last two years, they’re out in front in the AL West.
The offense has been firing on all cylinders and even with the unfortunate injury to Jacob deGrom, the Rangers are surging along.
A big part of the reason for the Rangers’ success is their manager. They hired Bruce Bochy in October and he’s made his presence felt.
Rangers hitting coach Tim Hyers talked about Bochy’s managing style and how he’s helped turn around the team on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” this week.
“He’s come in with a calm presence. He’s been there. He’s fought the fight. He’s been on the big stage. He has the rings,” Hyers said (11:35 in player above). “But he doesn’t talk about that much. He talks about what it takes to win.
“It goes back to being very simple. He treats men like men. He comes in and he doesn’t panic in the dugout. Things can go crazy and he’s steady Eddie. I feel a big part is he talks winning and he talks good baseball. He makes the game fun but he also makes the game very simple.”
Bochy has been an institution at his two prior stops in San Diego and San Francisco. He came up through the minor-league managing ranks in San Diego and took over the major-league club in 1995. He was the NL Manager of the Year in 1996 and stayed in that position until 2006 when he left for the Giants.
He found most of his success there in San Francisco, where he managed from 2007 to 2019. The Giants won three World Series under Bochy in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Bochy knows what it takes to win and he knows how to go about it.
“He’s demanding. Players get it. He is demanding. He has expectations. His expectations are this way to play the game and then you can see that reflection of being OK, this is winning baseball,” Hyers continued. “He’s seen how you win and he’s seen good teams and how they go about their business. He knows the heartbeat of this team and he knows the heartbeat of each player and what’s going on.”
Hyers started his major-league coaching career in with the Dodgers in 2016 before moving on to Boston in 2018. He’s been on the bench with some pretty good managers and has another one now in Bochy.
“I’ve been under some really good managers in Dave Roberts and Alex Cora, obviously, they have that ability to know what’s going on with players and being able to touch players at the right time and talk to them,” he said. “Bochy definitely notices that.”
Bochy is certainly pushing the right buttons with the Rangers. He has Texas off to a terrific 40-21 start through 61 games to give the Rangers a five-game lead over the Astros in early June.