By Martin Iheke
The resignation of Ron Washington as the manager of the Texas Rangers last Friday came as a big shock to everyone in the organization. There were no signs at all that Washington was going to leave despite the team having its worst season in over a decade. He had one year left on his current contract so it was expected that he would return for next season. Unfortunately for the Rangers, a personal matter came up to which Washington submitted his resignation leaving many of the players stunned. “He means everything,’’ Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said according to dallasnews.com. “I think he’s the reason that I always feel so comfortable here in the big leagues. He’s always taken care of me. He’s always had my back no matter what. That’s why it’s going to be so hard for me that he’s not going to be here anymore,” as he continued.
“If he decided to go home, it’s time to go home,’’ Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said according to dallasnews.com. “He was real easy to play for. He let me play. He let me be myself. I was sad to see him go,” as he continued. “It’s a sad day,” Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis said according to dallasnews.com. “Emotional from everybody. He’s a passionate man, and this is the game he loves. I’m sure it’s very hard for him to be going through this,” as he continued. Perhaps the player most affected by the decision of Washington to resign was starting pitcher Derek Holland, who just came off of the disabled list last week after missing most of the season because of knee surgery. “The guy is like a father to me, and honestly I felt like I lost my dad,” Holland said according to espn.com. “He taught me a lot, both on and off the field, and like I said, he meant a lot to me. It’s going to be hard not to see Wash, especially walking down and going to the weight room and seeing him and goof off and making goofy comments to him,” as he continued.
I am sure there is plenty of speculation on what the real reason was for why Washington decided to leave. For myself, I do not know. What I will say is that he was the most successful manager this franchise ever had. He managed the most games and has the most regular season wins as well as postseason wins. The Rangers made the playoffs three straight years which they have never done before. They also won two division titles and two pennants. Say what you want about Washington and his in-game managing skills which was not great, but he created a culture here that made baseball fun again. The players absolutely loved playing for him and when you have that, you know they will play hard for you. Sure the talent was there, but you have to have someone who can bring the team together to make it work. Washington did and it resulted in four straight 90-win seasons as well as two straight years in the World Series.
The question now is who will be the next manager? That is something general manager Jon Daniels will have to figure out. Could it be interim manager Tim Bogar? Well, he got his first win as manager this past Sunday as the Rangers snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating the Seattle Mariners at home, 1-0. Derek Holland was terrific in his second start back. He pitched seven shutout innings giving up six hits while striking out five. His first start back was good at the Kansas City Royals last Tuesday night when he went seven innings giving up a run off six hits while striking out six in a losing effort. It looks like he is rounding back into form as the season comes to a close and that is a good sign for the ballclub.
9/9 vs Angels 7:05pm
9/10 vs Angels 7:05pm
9/11 vs Angels 7:05pm
9/12 vs Braves 7:05pm
9/13 vs Braves 12:05pm
9/14 vs Braves 2:05pm