The Texas Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward on Monday with less than 50 games to go in a season that will almost certainly end with the team missing the playoffs for a sixth year in a row.
Expectations were raised in Texas this past offseason after the team spent more than $500million in free agency – most notably the additions of All-Star infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien – but at 51-63 the team is headed towards a sixth straight sub-.500 season.
The 46-year-old Woodward was in his fourth season as manager of the Rangers and received a contract extension last November, which ran through the 2023 season and included a club option for 2024.
He is expected to be replaced by an interim manager.
Despite falling short of their lofty expectations, the Rangers' offense has seen some improvement this season – ranking fourth in the AL in runs per game (4.48) after finishing last a year ago (3.86) – and the team has only been outscored by two runs on the season after owning a dreadful minus 190 run differential in 2021.
The inability to close out close games, however, has been their ultimate undoing as they are 6-24 in games decided by a single run. In the live-ball era, the only team to finish a season with a lower winning percentage in one-run games than Texas' .200 was the 1935 Boston Braves at 7-31 (.184).