I always liked Johnny Oates as a Manager. I could never understand why Angelos let him go in the early 90's. Johnny got the last laugh by taking the Rangers to the Playoffs 3 times. I don't recall hearing anything bad about him.
Sad that he and his family had to suffer with that dreaded disease called cancer. He was young.
RICHMOND, Va. -- Johnny Oates, who managed the Texas Rangers to their first three postseason appearances, died early Friday. He was 58.
Oates was diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago. His death was confirmed by John Blake, a former Rangers spokesman who worked for the organization when Oates coached in the '90s.
"It was a pretty courageous fight," Blake said.
"He accomplished something no other manager had here. The first division title was certainly a big anvil off everybody's back with this franchise."
Oates also managed the Baltimore Orioles from 1991-94.
He spent six seasons with the Rangers, guiding them to the playoffs in 1996, '98 and '99, and shared the American League Manager of the Year award with New York's Joe Torre in 1996.
Oates resigned in 2001 after the Rangers lost 17 of their first 28 games despite the addition of $252 million free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez. He compiled a regular season record of 797-746 and got his only postseason victory in 10 tries when the Rangers made their playoff debut, winning 6-2 at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1, 1996.
Texas lost the next three games and was swept by the Yankees in 1998 and '99.
"Throw away what he did in baseball, and you still have a special man. Baseball did not define Johnny," said Rangers manager Buck Showalter, who regularly talked with Oates.
Just over six months after leaving the Rangers, Oates was considering a return to managing when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor.