ARLINGTON, Texas -- Keeping the Texas Rangers in the hunt in the American League West wasn't enough for manager Bobby Valentine to keep his job.
The Rangers fired Valentine yesterday after deciding he was not the man to lead them to their first division title.
"Six-and-a-half games back and not playing very well in a season we thought we ought to be in contention," Rangers managing general partner George W. Bush said in way of explanation. "I think we were losing ground with the field."
Valentine, who appeared in good spirits at a news conference yesterday afternoon, said he was surprised by the firing. But he added he was not ready to leave town.
"I'm not ready to move away from this team right now with my heart, my mind or my talent," Valentine said.