On January 30, 2012 Jon Daniels had this to say regarding Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington
“Our guys love playing for this man. You see that every day. The national baseball audience has seen that the past two Octobers. You really see the way our guys respond to him.” (Star-Telegram – Jeff Wilson)
Jon Daniels replaced Buck Showalter, who had three years left on his contract, with Ron Washington on November 6, 2006. Washington served as both IF and 3B coach for the Oakland Athletics from 1997-2006. In my eyes, together, JD and Washington have been nothing but a successful team.
Washington helped the Texas Rangers win two back-to-back AL Pennants with trips to the World Series that go along with those wins. Over the past five years Ron Washington led the Texas Rangers to an above .500 season. On September 2, 2012 he surpassed the highly regarded Johnny Oates in wins, beating out Bobby Valentine on August 4, 2013, Washington now holds first place in franchise wins with 611. This is the most excitement that Texas Rangers fans have seen in a long time.
With the 2014 season, the last year on Ron Washington’s contract, everyone seems concerned about this, except for Wash himself. Washington had this to say regarding the lack of an extension in place yet
“I’m not worried about that, that will take care of itself.” (ESPN – Richard Durrett)
Washington has a lot of critics who say that he’s a “player’s manager” and not a great tactical manager. But, to me, if a manager gets his players motivated, who want to play aggressively and always try to improve that is one of the biggest tactical moves a manger can possess.
Even Hall of Fame managers agree that Ron Washington is one of the best managers in the big leagues. Tony La Russa seems to hold Wash in high regard and says that
“My opinion is shared by a lot of people in the game, because we talk among ourselves.”
La Russa goes on to say
“It would be one thing if they had been struggling, but they’ve won two American League championships. You’ve got to be good if you put your club in position to do that. You can’t overcome a bad manager. You might be able to do it occasionally, but they couldn’t overcome a bad manager and do what they have done. He’s done a great job.” (MLB.com – T.R. Sullivan)
So, why hasn’t Jon Daniels offered Ron Washington another contract extension? Washington’s initial contract for 2-years, 2006-2008, with club options for 2009 and 2010. The Texas Rangers picked up Ron Washington’s ’09 option in 2007 then picking up the 2010 option in 2009. In November 2010 and January 2012 Ron Washington and the Texas Rangers agreed on a 2-year extension thru 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Since Jon Daniels refuses to comment on the subject publically and Ron Washington doesn’t really seem to be bothered by it, I have to assume that Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers have faith in Washington and vice versa. I believe that the Texas Rangers do not want to put themselves in another Showalter type of situation. Regardless, Daniels knows what having Ron Washington manage the Texas Rangers means, wins.
“He’s been a huge part of what we’ve done here, it’s been a partnership from Day 1 and I expect that to continue going forward.” (Jon Daniels via Richard Durrett)
I don’t think that Washington will get an extension before Spring Training is over; however, I do believe that the Texas Rangers will extend an offer to Ron Washington before the season is over. He has brought joy to Rangers fans and made the game exciting to watch in Arlington once more. Washington brings out the kid in all of us who think playing baseball in Texas is the best kind of fun. His aggressive style of playing and giving the automatic go ahead to his players draws the fans to the Ballpark and creates life-long fans.
I can’t imagine Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers dismiss all that he has done for the club and the city because a couple of players have missed catches in the outfield.