Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Ron Washington's job security
By Doug Mittler
It was another season of unfulfilled expectations for the Texas Rangers, who bowed out to David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays in a wild card play-in game on Monday.
A shakeup is possible in Arlington, where the Rangers made it to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011 but have not advanced past the wild card round since. To the Rangers’ credit, they did win seven straight games to force Monday’s playoff, but that followed a September swoon that featured 13 losses in 17 games.
When a team stumbles, fingers are automatically pointed at the manager, and it will be no different with Ron Washington, even if he has his fourth straight season with 90 or more wins. Some of the problems are not Washington’s control, such as the suspension of star outfielder Nelson Cruz. During the September slide, Washington even admitted that he was "concerned about my job."
If the Rangers change course, the job in Texas would be an attractive one given the club’s commitment to winning.
But is Washington to blame for the lack of October baseball in the Lone Star State? Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com says no:
Richard DurrettDon’t blame Washington for team failures
"Is Washington perfect? No. But good managers are tough to find. When you have one, you keep him. The Minnesota Twins, despite a terrible season, figured that out and retained Ron Gardenhire. The Tampa Bay Rays have had playoff disappointment since making the World Series in 2008, but they know they’ve got a great manager in Joe Maddon. Washington is a great motivator and teacher. He understands people and how to manage a clubhouse. And he’s improved as the years have gone on. There’s no reason to change managers. He’s navigated two teams to the World Series. He can do it again."