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05/11/2006 4:27 PM ET
Texas relieves Oklahoma manager Tim Ireland of his duties
Mike Boulanger named new manager; Wayne Kirby named hitting coach
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has relieved Triple-A manager Tim Ireland of his duties and have named Mike Boulanger as Manager of Oklahoma and Wayne Kirby as the hitting coach.

Ireland was in his fifth season in the Rangers organization and first as the club's Triple-A Manager in Oklahoma City. Under Ireland, the RedHawks were off to an 11-22 record, last place in the Pacific Coast League's American Southern Division.

Boulanger is in his fourth season with the Rangers organization and his second with Oklahoma. Under Boulanger, the RedHawks are batting .260 (290-1115) and rank fifth in fewest strikeouts among PCL teams. Prior to joining Oklahoma, Boulanger had a brief stint as coach for Single-A Bakersfield and spent two seasons with Single-A Clinton, guiding the club to playoff appearances in both seasons. He has compiled a record of 445-471 over nine seasons as a minor league manager, guiding three teams to playoff appearances. An Oklahoma native, Boulanger graduated from Ponca City High School and Oklahoma State University.

Kirby is in his first season in the Rangers organization as baserunning and outfield coordinator after spending the last four seasons with the Cleveland Indians as part of their player development staff. He spent last season as the hitting coach for Double-A Akron after serving as a coach for Single-A Kinston in 2004. Kirby began his coaching career with the Indians in 2002 as coach for Single-A Lake County in the South Atlantic League. He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1983 and went on to play professionally for 18 seasons, including eight at the major league level with the Indians (1991-96), Dodgers (1996-97), and Mets (1998). In 1993 while with Cleveland, Kirby established career-highs in nearly every offensive category including hits (123), doubles (19), triples (5), home runs (6) and RBI (60).

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