Ron Washington is the man Texas Rangers fans have come to adore for leading the team to the most on-field success the franchise has ever had. The man whose famous catchphrase goes “That’s how baseball go”. And the man who finally got his World Series championship as an Atlanta Braves coach in 2021.
But is Ron Washington the right man to fill the Texas Rangers’ managerial vacancy? Will the “Bring Back Wash” chants result in his return?
Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
The case for Ron Washington as Texas Rangers manager in 2023
As was mentioned above, he’s the most successful manager in team history after leading the Rangers to back-to-back AL Pennants in 2010 and 2011 as well as a third consecutive playoff appearance in 2012.
After that though? Ron Washington’s teams missed the playoffs the next two years (albeit barely in 2013 before seeing the wheels fall off in 2014).
It’s been a long journey in baseball for the 70-year-old coach, who after leaving Texas, went to coach in Oakland (again) with the Athletics before landing with the Atlanta Braves in 2017 as their third base coach. But “Wash” knows this Rangers franchise well, and is beloved by all.
In his seven-year (eight season) stint as Texas Rangers manager between 2007-2014, Washington compiled a 664-611 record, a triumph when considering only one other manager ever had even taken Texas to the playoffs prior (Johnny Oates). He oversaw Jon Daniels’ first rebuild on the field, just like he’d oversee the one now being led by Chris Young if he were to manage in 2023.
Wash has seen winning in Arlington before and with his wealth of experience, he’d be able to lead this band of young players (and some vets) to a potential second round of success.
The case against Ron Washington as Texas Rangers manager in 2023
He’s 70 years old. And while we’ve seen older managers thrive (Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter, for example), that’s not exactly the route the Rangers should be looking to take at the moment. Texas better be pushing all the chips in this time, because Wash won’t have as much patience with a team not ready to win. And though 2023 is the stated goal for the Rangers, they won’t quite be championship-caliber yet.
Here’s another thing to consider: Ron Washington represents what was. He was Jon Daniels’ hire. Both are now departed from the organization. Would the Texas Rangers really want to turn back the clock again with Wash after just indicating they’re ready to move forward with Chris Young? It’s doubtful and would certainly be a complete 360 from what their intentions were by firing Daniels in the first place.
There are many qualified candidates out there for Texas to choose from, and all could represent the next great manager in Rangers history. Bringing back Wash would be doing what the Rangers tried to do too much of during the Daniels era: not knowing when to start fresh and holding onto relics for long past their expiration date.
It’s time to move on. Even with Wash having done much good with the Rangers, it’s time to let Chris Young cook. It’s his team and his vision now. And it probably doesn’t involve bringing back a fan favorite to manage the squad.