Six years ago the Texas Rangers hired an assistant named Ron Washington off of the Oakland staff to become their new manager. At the time he really was not well known to many fans and even most baseball people in the area. A former player, turned coach he was a typical journeyman and when he first got here, everybody thought “what the heck”, where did this guy come from?
Fast forward to present day and “Wash”, as he is affectionately called by fans and players alike, is one of the more beloved figures of the two time defending American League Champions.
But it always hasn’t been fun and laughter for Ron and his group of players. A few years back, he was hanging on to his job by the thinnest of threads. Luckily for him, his birthday fell at just the right time, because then team President Nolan Ryan and GM John Daniels were about to fire him after a terrible slump. They just couldn’t do it on his birthday.
The brief reprieve was all Ron needed to turn this team around. After this near brush with disaster the team hit a winning streak and have continued to improve every year.
Last year the team won a club record 96 games in route to their 2nd World Series appearance in two years. It is exciting to see the team start to have some stability from the top to the bottom. Ron Washington still has as much fire and passion as anyone on the field. The Rangers are also setting all kinds of attendance records.
“Wash” is childlike and as hyper as a two year old on the bench during a game. He will stand, cheer, run in place at his seat and walk up and down the dugout exchanging high fives with the players. This has to make him more fun to play for, and give the players extra incentive to make him happy. Because he is having as much fun as everybody in the stands on any given night. With his two year extension now signed, it can only lead to improve fans hope this will lead to more success for the Rangers.
This team has rebuilt over the last decade, but now there is stability all the way through the organization. They have enjoyed a great run of back to back World Series’ appearances. Now all the fans want to see is “Wash” hoist the World Series Championship trophy and I promise you, when he does, he will have a grin as wide as the Atlantic Ocean. The picture will promptly be made into a poster for every fan to hang on their wall, because the fans love “Wash” as much (if not more) than the players do.
Kudos to the Rangers for their faith in him. It certainly paid off. Somebody did their homework when they hired him as no one really knew who he was. Now we do!