STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — There will be a new coach sitting to the right of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington during games next season, someone else for him to hug after each victory.
The Rangers said Wednesday that they will not renew the contracts of bench coach Jackie Moore, who has been in professional baseball 56 years and at Washington’s side through two World Series, or first base coach Dave Anderson.
“These are not decisions we take lightly or make easily,” general manager Jon Daniels said.
Speaking on a conference call with Daniels, Washington said the decisions were made after “many, many, many” hours in meetings Tuesday, a day after the Rangers finished a 91-win season with a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card tiebreaker game to miss the playoffs for the first time in four years.
“As an organization we wanted to move forward in a different direction,” said Washington, 611-524 in his seven seasons as the Rangers manager.
When speaking to reporters Tuesday, Washington had said he intended on having all of his coaches back in 2014.
Moore and Anderson had been on Washington’s staff the past five seasons.
Pitching coach Mike Maddux, hitting coach Dave Magadan, third base coach Gary Pettis and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins are all expected to return next season.
The 74-year-old Moore was in his fourth stint as a Rangers coach. He began playing professionally in the minor leagues in 1957 after graduating from high school in Houston, though his 11-year playing career included only 21 major league games for Detroit in 1965.
What became a normal occurrence after Rangers victories was Washington turning to Moore and the two sharing a hug. They celebrated together after the Rangers won their only two AL championships in 2010 and 2011.
“Jackie is a family member of mine and of course I’m going to miss him,” Washington said. “This is not something that we take lightly. My heart is aching, but as anything else, I’m a baseball man and we’ll get through it.”
Daniels said the organization was working to put together a list of candidates for both positions, and expects to look to people both in and out of the organization. Daniels said the new bench coach doesn’t necessarily have to have managerial experience.
“I just long for a guy’s that prepared. … Looking for a guy that’s in synch with me sitting on the bench and my thought processes,” Washington said. “I’m looking for a guy that’s total baseball.”
Anderson was also the team’s infield instructor and was charged with organizing spring training for Washington. He was the third base coach for four seasons before the manager switched Anderson and Pettis on the bases last winter.
With Moore gone, will Washington turn and hug his new bench coach after the first victory in 2014?
“I really hope so, but that between me and Jackie is something that he and I created,” Washington said. “I don’t know how I’m going to react. But if I react and I decide I want to hug the guy next to me, I hope he welcomes it. If he don’t welcome it, then I’ll shake his hand.”