Buck Showalter was fired as manager of the Texas Rangers yesterday, ending four seasons in which he was never able to get a team with several young All-Stars above third place in the AL West.
Texas was 80-82 this season, its sixth losing record in seven years since last making the playoffs in 1999. Showalter was 319-329 with the Rangers, his third managerial job, and still had three seasons left on his contract.
``You never heard me make an excuse all year, and I'm not going to start now. We just didn't get it done," Showalter told the Associated Press in a phone interview. ``They want to go in a new direction with a new voice. With the shelf life of managers, I feel fortunate."
Showalter, 50, was the AL manager of the year only two years ago, when AL MVP Alex Rodriguez was traded in the spring and the Rangers went on to contend for a playoff spot until the final few games of the season.
The Rangers were 89-73 in 2004, the fourth-best record in team history and an 18-win improvement over 2003. They finished only three games back in the AL West, but still in third place behind the division-winning Angels and Oakland. But the Rangers couldn't build off the momentum of that unexpected playoff chase.
Anderson may go free
A federal appeals court has ordered Barry Bonds's
personal trainer to be released from prison by 5 p.m. today unless a lower court again holds him in contempt for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the Giants slugger for perjury. Greg Anderson
, who served a three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money-laundering charges in the BALCO steroids case, has been imprisoned twice for refusing to testify whether Bonds used steroids . . . Meanwhile, Bonds underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his left elbow Monday and there were no complications, agent Jeff Borris
said yesterday. Borris said Bonds, 42, would file for free agency after the World Series and is prepared to listen when the Giants call during their 15-day window of exclusivity to negotiate contract terms. In a diary on his website posted yesterday, Bonds sounded as if he might be ready to move on. ``From my first game with the Giants in 1993 to my last game on Sunday, I have shared many memories with the fans throughout my career," he wrote . . . The Astros extended manager Phil Garner's
contract through 2008 but fired pitching coach Jim Hickey
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