I used to like listening to sports call-in shows. Yeah they have always been a place for rabid, opinionated sports fans. But in the last couple of years, it feels like the unrealistic, closed-minded opinions from political talk radio have made their way to the sports side of things.
Imagine my surprise when I have heard multiple callers saying Rangers skipper Ron Washington should be on the hot seat this season. Now the hot seat, for those that don’t know, is one long losing streak, or losing season away from termination. Nothing should be farther from the truth when it comes to Wash.
When you dial-up the Dallas Morning news message boards it’s funny to see Wash being called into question on aggressive base running or staying with a reliever too long. That’s normal manager stuff and that is cool. We all like to second guess. But to say the front office needs him on a short leash when he has taken this team to the Series twice in the last three years and fall just short of another post season run (that one game play-in SO doesn’t count- I HATE that thing) is ludicrous. If it were one call, I would write that off as a wing nut. But I heard five callers over the course of three days.
After the 2009 season I started a ‘Fire Ron Washington Now’ Facebook page. The Rangers weren’t great and he tested positive for cocaine. Not real good. In less than a year, I turned that into an ‘Extend Ron Washington Now’ page. My loyalty to Wash hasn’t wavered. Sure there have been plenty of times I haven’t agreed with his platooning certain players and putting guys into the game who were struggling out of the pen. Like I said, perfectly normal. His fierce loyalty and ability to make the team a family is unmatched. Bruce Bochy in San Francisco can get the guys on the same page but because of his front office he has to do it with rag tag guys a lot.
There was a lot of talk about not getting it done after we collapsed in 2012. Some guys kind of owned up. A ton of us knew that Wash’s loyalty to a fault was particularly bad this past season because Profar and Olt saw little to no playing time. Guess what he did at season’s end? He fell on the sword. He took full blame. How can you not love that? Especially when it really wasn’t all his fault. He knows our kids and he knows our veterans. He knows how to work with upper management. A move to a new manager would set us back two to three years.
So many managers now want a ton of control. Two of the worst were actually managers here (Valentine and Showalter). As a fan, I have only seen two real players’ managers. One is Wash, the other was Johnny Oates. These guys have one more thing in common. That would be October baseball.
Right now Ron Washington is happy in his corner of the dugout. So dial it back haters, that is exactly where we need him him to stay.