Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward found himself involved in an unwritten rules controversy in 2020 that has lots of similarities with the Chicago White Sox’s current situation. Interestingly, Woodward now thinks he was in the wrong when it came to his reaction.
Woodward was in the opposing dugout last August when Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch to give San Diego a 14-3 eighth inning lead. With the Padres well ahead at the time, there were some who felt Tatis was being disrespectful by swinging. Woodward was among them, admitting at the time that he felt Tatis crossed a line by swinging in that situation.
In light of White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes swinging 3-0 and homering off a position player in a blowout on Monday, Woodward was asked for his thoughts on the situation. His answer was surprising, as he admitted he has “completely” changed his stance and his previous opinion was “silly.”
“I’ve completely changed my opinion on it,” Woodward said. “I never swung a 3-0 pitch because it was never allowed. Now I look back, I’m like, ‘That was silly.’ It’s the best pitch in baseball to hit.”
The change of opinion puts Woodward at odds with Tony La Russa, who remains a staunch traditionalist no matter how much the game changes around him. The game has changed, though, and many things that never would have been acceptable even two decades ago are much less controversial now. Woodward is smart to adapt to those changes, even if he doesn’t love them, instead of simply digging his feet in.
Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward was ejected during Sunday’s game against the Red Sox for arguing balls and strikes, but his frustration likely stemmed more from a controversial call earlier in the contest.
With the Rangers trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Joey Gallo was called out on strikes on a pitch that appeared to catch the strike zone. Gallo immediately turned around and had words for home plate umpire Brian O’Nora, but he wasn’t ejected until he started walking back to the dugout. He must have said something inappropriate at that point.
Woodward then came out and was ejected almost immediately. The manager didn’t appear all that worked up, either, so he apparently said something that rubbed O’Nora the wrong way.
It was the second time in the game that Woodward came out to speak with O’Nora. The first was after Rangers catcher Jonah Heim appeared to catch a foul pop-up to retire Enrique Hernandez, but O’Nora ruled that Heim dropped the ball. Replays appeared to show that Heim made the catch and dropped the ball on the transfer, which should be an out.
This isn’t the first time Woodward was ejected during a game against the Red Sox, though he was a lot more animated the last time.
Chris Woodward said after Monday night’s game against the San Diego Padres that he did not like the way Fernando Tatis Jr. swung away with a 10-3 lead, and the Texas Rangers manager is not exactly softening that stance.
Tatis Jr. belted a grand slam on a 3-0 count in the eighth inning to give the Padres a 14-3 lead. Some felt that was a violation of baseball’s “unwritten rules,” and Woodward is among that group. The manager told the “Ben & Woods Show” on 97.3 The Fan on Tuesday he has always challenged unwritten rules, but he felt Tatis Jr.’s decision to swing away crossed the line.
“There’s a bunch of different ways you can look at it and I know everybody’s gonna have their own opinion on it,” Woodward said. “I just felt like at that point, it is one of those unwritten rules that’s kind of right on that border. I thought it was on the other side of the border line.”
Woodward added that he understood why Tatis Jr. wanted to hit in that situation. He even said he always tells his own players to swing away in a 3-0 count, though he apparently would not instruct them to do so late in a blowout.
“I’m one of the biggest advocates of swinging 3-0,” Woodward said. “I tell our guys all the time, ‘I don’t want you taking 3-0.’ I don’t care who are are. It’s the best pitch to hit in baseball and that’s been proven.”
Unless Woodward can say he was willing to concede the game when the Rangers were trailing 10-3, he should have no issue with Tatis Jr. trying to put more runs on the board. It’s also hypocritical of him to complain after he allowed this nonsense last season. Teams have scored bunches of runs to come from behind countless times in the majors, which is why it’s a bad look for players and managers to complain about someone giving full effort even with a sizable lead.
Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward was ejected from Tuesday’s game, and it came at the hands of baseball’s most notorious umpire.
Woodward was tossed by crew chief Angel Hernandez in the sixth inning of his team’s contest against the Boston Red Sox following a controversial out call at second base. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News noted that it was the rookie skipper Woodward’s first career ejection.
After the game, Woodward explained that he was upset at Hernandez for failing to provide a warning that time was about to expire on a potential challenge, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The Rangers did hold on to win by the final of 9-5, but that was hardly the dominant storyline afterwards. For Hernandez, he continues to show why he is seen as the consensus worst umpire in the league. Woodward isn’t even the only AL West manager that has gone off on him in recent months.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout so thoroughly dominated the Texas Rangers in the first three games of their weekend series that manager Chris Woodward will be seeing him in his nightmares.
Trout has homered in every game against Texas so far. On Friday, he homered twice, and on Saturday, he hit a grand slam in a 5-1 win. Overall, through the first three games of the series, Trout has hit four home runs in nine at-bats and has driven in seven runs.
Understandably, Woodward has just about seen enough.
Woodward is probably not alone. Trout has tormented many a manager during his career, but he’s on a particularly hot streak this weekend. He is, after all, the highest-paid athlete in American sports history, and he’s showing how deserved that title is.