Thursday newsletter time: Is there a long-range plan with Rangers associate manager Will Venable?
(AP photo/Alex Gallardo)
Don’t let the made-up title of associate manager take away from the news of the day Wednesday from the Rangers.
The addition of the highly regarded Will Venable to the coaching staff is a big deal.
Venable, a former teammate in San Diego with general manager Chris Young and a former player under manager Bruce Bochy, is jumping from his position as Red Sox bench coach to become the Rangers’ associate manager.
What is that? Well, that’s a good question. Clarification was sought from the Rangers shortly after the announcement, and is still being sought. He’s probably not going to wearing a name tag on the front of his jersey.
Just based on experience and reading some tea leaves, Venable is going to be assuming many of Donnie Ecker’s duties as bench coach. Catching coordinator Bobby Wilson did some of them last season.
The title is necessary because the Red Sox might have made a stink if Venable, who played for the Rangers late in the 2015 season, were to leave to become the bench coach. That’s a parallel move. Teams are OK granting permission to other teams to interview assistants as long as it’s for a better position.
Again, that’s just a hunch.
Here’s another, less-informed hunch: Venable, assuming he isn’t hired as a manager in the next few years, will be Bochy’s replacement whenever he decides he needs to be replaced. Bochy will turn 68 next year, and will be 70 when his three-year contract is up.
If all goes according to plan, which means the Rangers will be a contender, the Rangers won’t be nudging Bochy into retirement. Venable, who has been a candidate for managerial openings the past few years, could very well move on at some point.
It just seems like the Rangers went to an extraordinary length to get Venable on staff, and it wouldn’t be a stretch if he were the manager-in-waiting.
Rangers ticket deal
A subscription to Rangers Today makes for a fine Christmas gift. So do Rangers tickets, and the Rangers have a deal coming next week as the holiday shopping season officially opens.
From Black Friday until Cyber Monday, a four-day stretch from Nov. 25-Nov. 28, select individual tickets can be had for $10 for every game except Opening Day. Tickets for some series will be limited.
The Rangers also announced game times for their 2023 home schedule, with the season opener set for 3:05 p.m. March 30 against the Phillies. Game times can be found here.
The promotional schedule is also out. There are eight bobblehead giveaways, including a Nate Lowe Silver Slugger Bobblehead on June 3, and six chances for a hat/visor.
One of the Bobbleheads is TBD. Maybe a Jacob deGrom or Carlos Rodon?
The offseason news is starting to pile up, and there will be another pile to deal with Friday with the non-tender deadline. That’s an unpleasant one. Rangers Today has been on top of things, from the Martin Perez qualfying-offer saga to the 40-man adds, and then still cranking on the daily newsletter our weekly features. It’s a good a time to subscribe for full access (for only 16 cents a day). Here’s our latest, in case you missed it.
T.R.’s Memoirs: 25 best seasons by a pitcher
Offseason predictions (already 0 for 1)
We’ve all been here. Enjoy.
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