Why should the Rangers extend Ron Washington’s contract?
Over the past couple of years Ron Washington has found himself the target of many critics. Those critics blame him on the 2011 World Series loss, losing the division lead on the last day in 2012 and failing to make the playoffs in 2013. While Ron Washington has had his downfalls, he has also reaped the awards of having his team win at least 90 win four straight years. That a feat that not even Jim Leyland can attest to. Washington has also brought playoff baseball back to Arlington, the first time since 1999.
After the last game of the season when the Rangers lost the season tiebreaker to the Tampa Bay Rays, Jon Daniels was quick to say that there is “not a question” to Ron Washington returning in 2014 to manager the Rangers, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Jon Daniels has long supported the manager and has always supported him.
With that said, why should Ron Washington be given a contract extension? Although always at the center of criticism, Washington should be given the credit he is due. Washington has managed to do what managers before him haven’t been able to do, with exception of the great Johnny Oates. Washington managed to not only return to the Rangers to the postseason, but managed to exercise the demons that haunted them in their previous trips to postseason play. The dreaded Yankees tormented the Rangers for 3 ALDS playoff appearances. Over those 3 series, the Rangers only managed to win 1 game at Yankee Stadium. In 2010, Washington and his Rangers changed the franchise forever. The Rangers managed to win their first home playoff game and jumped over the hurdle of the Yankees by beating them in the ALCS to advance to the franchise’s first World Series appearance. It is now safe to say, the demons have been removed and the Rangers are now considered a fierce competitor in the American League.
Ron Washington adds to the clubhouse years of baseball knowledge. Washington has been called over the years the old school brother. He started in the major league in 1977 as shortstop with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played until 1989. Shortly after that he started his coaching career in Columbia, SC with the Mets minor league team in 1991. He spent several years there and eventually became the manager for the Capital City Class A club. He also spent time with several other minor league teams for the Mets before he finally returned to the Major League coaching third base for the Athletics. With the Athletics Ron Washington worked under Billy Beane whose team managed to make the playoffs on a shoestring budget. Washington and the rest of the staff learned now to squeeze the most out of every player and how to utilize them to the fullest extent. The Rangers have benefited from this several times. The 2013 season is a perfect example of Washington doing the best he could with limited resources. The Rangers did have a great ball club for him to work with, but the Rangers were plagued with injuries that forced Washington at times to sometimes ask more out of his players. This is a crucial talent that Washington brings that any ball club would love to have.
Ron Washington also has established himself as a manager that can get the job done. Washington brought postseason baseball back to the ballpark and utilized his experience to almost make it a 4th year in row. During the 2013 season on August 4, Washington surpassed Bobby Valentine for the most win as a Ranger’s manager. By the end of the season, he managed to up that total to 611 wins. Also, at the end of the 2013 season, Washington and his team won 90 or more wins for the 4th straight year. Under the previous manager Buck Showalter, he never managed to win more than 89 wins. Between the regular season victories and the post season success, Ron Washington is clearly the best manager the team has had. If the team didn’t suffer the injuries and the 50 game suspension with Nelson Cruz, the Rangers could easily have won the American League West and made the playoffs for a 4th straight year.
Also, after the 2013 season Washington has now completed 7 years with the Texas Rangers. Only 4 other managers have more tenure with their ball club. Mike Scioscia, Jim Leyland, Joe Maddon and Ron Gardenhire have more time with their clubs. With Sciosica’s long contract, it doesn’t seem like he will be going anywhere, and Ron Gardenhire just had his contract extended by two more years. Also Jim Leyland will be with the Tigers through 2015. The only manager that isn’t locked up is Joe Maddon, but with the continued success by the Rays, you would figure he will be returning next year.
Overall, between experience, his baseball knowledge and success with the team, the Rangers should extended Washington for at least a few more years. Jon Daniels has already stated that he wishes to complete an offer before the season begins, which is exactly what he should do. There are many people that would disagree, but where would the Rangers be without him? Would the Rangers have ever made it to the postseason? Would the Rangers have 2 A.L. pennants? People need to see the larger picture and trust Jon Daniels and Washington, with a healthy ball club the Rangers will be hard to stop for years to come.
Manager since 2007
3 playoff appearances with Ron Washington (2 World Series and 1 Wild Card Play-in game)
4 straight seasons of 90 or more wins. (First time in franchise history)
Finished 2nd in voting for the AL manager of the year and 3rd in 2011
Washington has a record of 611-514 (.538 winning percentage)
Year by year record
- 2007: 75-87
- 2008: 79-83
- 2009: 87-75
- 2010: 90-72
- 2011: 96-66
- 2012: 93-69
- 2013: 91-72