Ron Washington is my uncle. Well he’s not really my uncle... but he reminds me of an uncle. The one that likes to laugh and all the kids like to hang onto his leg when he comes around because he gives them a dollar. He smokes his cigarettes and drinks his beer while telling jokes and keeping everyone around him smiling. But they respect him and when someone says ‘I’m going to tell your Uncle Ron”…you get some get right! He’s that uncle. And he has been that “uncle” for the Texas Rangers ball club.
Ron Washington is the most successful manager the Texas Rangers have ever had.
No one else is in the conversation.
He has led the Rangers to the playoffs each of the past three seasons, including back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers have won 279 games the past three seasons; only the New York Yankees has won more in the American League over that span.
Never has a manager done so much and received so little credit. Either it goes to GM Jon Daniels, CEO Nolan Ryan, or to the players.
Any blame? Washington gets the bulk of that.
The manager is always going to get blamed when a team gets within one strike of a title and loses, which happened in 2011. Or when it's part of one of the worst collapses in MLB history, which is what happened last season (SMH….that memory is one of my saddest in DFW sport history moment behind Romo’s fumbled field goal snap versus Seattle in the 2007 playoffs, or the Mavericks versus Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals-ouch!).
Washington excels, in part, because he doesn't let minor stuff affect his approach. He doesn't care what you think about his decisions regarding the lineup. Or the bullpen. Or his approach to managing. He's his own man. And he'll never let anyone define him.
That's why every player on the roster knows who's in charge of the team -- and it’s not the general manager.
The players understand winning is all Washington cares about. So they trust him. The trust has been earned.
Washington has put his imprint on the way the Rangers play the game. They play with controlled recklessness, always putting pressure on their opponent. Pitching and defense are no longer an afterthought.
With the (major) players the team lost in the offseason some may count the Rangers out. But with Washington at the head…the work will get done. The only thing left to do now is to go get a championship!