Arlington, Texas Buck Showalter was fired as manager of the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, 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 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.