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Ron Washington wins 582nd game to become Rangers all-time winningest manager

Behind starter Derek Holland, the Rangers shut out the Athletics 4-0 to take a series win and cut their deficit in the AL West to 2.5 games. The victory was Ron Washington’s 582nd as Rangers manager, moving into first place for the most in Rangers history. Bobby Valentine had been in the lead with 581, accrued between 1985 and 1992. However, he had a .490 winning percentage. Washington, in seven years, has a .537 winning percentage.

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Josh Hamilton, Ron Washington draw blame for the Rangers’ early exit

From Hardball Talk

I maintain that the Rangers are baseball’s most talented team. That they’re done after one wild card game falls mostly on the shoulders of Josh Hamilton and the shortcomings of manager Ron Washington.

Hamilton’s struggles are well chronicled. In the Rangers’ final nine games — seven of which proved to be losses — he went 10-for-39 with no homers, 16 strikeouts and no walks. He also made a big error in Wednesday’s defeat that gave the AL West to the A’s and relegated the Rangers to the wild card.

Tonight’s performance didn’t come with any defensive miscues, but it may have been the ugliest of the bunch. Hamilton grounded into a double play on the very first pitch he saw. He made another first-pitch out later, and he twice struck out on three pitches. Four at-bats, five outs, eight pitches.

Washington’s in-game management leaves much to be desired — Tony La Russa ran circles around him in the World Series last year — but one can live with that if his players respect and play hard for him. The way Hamilton mailed it in at the end and laughed off Washington in the dugout after Wednesday’s error doesn’t speak well for him and doesn’t speak well for Washington’s leadership. Perhaps it’s just one player. Perhaps it isn’t.

Still, Washington has blind spots. It’s one thing that Washington thinks Michael Young can still hit. After all, Young did bat .338 last season. It’s another thing that Washington has somehow been fooled into thinking he’s worth playing in the infield.

Washington also believes Elvis Andrus is good enough to bat second in the AL’s best lineup, yet he constantly has him put down sacrifice bunts ahead of two of the game’s best hitters. Andrus led the league in the category this year.

Now tonight’s loss was a team effort. Washington shouldn’t have gone to Derek Holland in the seventh, but it only cost Texas one run at the most in what ended up being a 5-1 game. Hamilton’s 0-for-4 still looms large, particularly since the two guys ahead of him both had two hits, but cleanup man Adrian Beltre had the same line. Unless Washington was the one who told Rangers hitters to go up hacking against Joe Saunders, he’s not responsible for the futile effort.

But the Rangers have come up short with a very talented roster three straight years now. I imagine the early exit makes it a whole lot less likely that Hamilton will be brought back after he hits free agency this winter. Washington almost surely will return, but it might be for the best if he’s set free, too.


Ron Washington: “There was only one Katrina”

Rangers manager Ron Washington will entertain about a dozen family members this week, but has no plans to go back to his home in New Orleans after Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to strengthen into a hurricane as it tracks up the Gulf of Mexico, makes landfall.

The hurricane is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

Washington lost much of his home and property in the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Then a coach with Oakland, he left the team for three days to return to his home. He found a wreck that took him years to rebuild and restore. With Isaac expected to be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane when it hits, Washington does not expect damage to be as severe.

“This is not Katrina,” he said Monday. “There was only one Katrina.”

Walking through the park and reminiscing.

From The Newberg Report

Kansas City signed 18-year-old Ron Washington as a catcher but raised him as a shortstop-second baseman-third baseman.  He spent six seasons there, reaching Class AA the last two, where he saw most of his playing time at second base.

Those two years, Wash’s fellow Royals Baseball Academy graduate Frank White was breaking in as the club’s utility infielder and then settling in as its regular second baseman.

Wash was blocked at second by White, who was just a year and a half older.  But shortstop Freddie Patek was on the wrong side of 30.

Was Wash frustrated?

The Royals traded him in 1976 to the Dodgers for a player you’ve never heard of.

Wash played in 154 AA games and 116 AAA games in the Los Angeles system.  He reached the big leagues in September 1977, getting 20 plate appearances in 10 games.  He hit .368 and struck out only twice in 19 at-bats.

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Spotlight on Josh

Do you think Josh Hamilton has had enough of the spotlight since the season began?

After hitting .395 in April and .344 in May, Hamilton has hit just .191 in June. He also has more strikeouts in June (26) than he had in April or May.

It seems that manager Ron Washington has had some meetings with Josh both privately and publicly about the month-long drought.

This is what Evan Grant has written about it:

A day after Josh Hamilton’s futile attempt to hit out-of-his-area-code sliders, manager Ron Washington pleaded with the slugger both privately and publicly to show a little more patience.

Washington met with Hamilton after he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts Saturday and seemed completely helpless against an array of sliders off the plate. Hamilton saw 20 pitches on the day, 16 of which were curves or sliders. He had 10 swings-and-misses, all on the breaking balls.

“I’m not saying he shouldn’t stop swinging the bat,” Washington said. “But he’s swinging at a whole bunch of balls out of the zone, way out of the zone. If guys are going to make their adjustment to him by throwing pitches way off the plate, then just [take] it. You don’t have to make as big an adjustment as he’s making.”

Hamilton declined to comment after Saturday’s loss and again before Sunday’s game.

Hamilton entered Sunday leading the AL in the percentage of times swinging at the first pitch (49.6 percent). It’s clear that after two months of getting pounded, pitchers have decided to not throw Hamilton anything hard in the strike zone, hoping he would remain aggressive and follow pitches right off the plate. Hamilton has done just that.

Wow. Of course anyone who has followed baseball for more than two days knows how dangerous it can be when you call a player out in public. It can drive a slumping player further into a slump. It can manifest itself in a hurry because the player tries even harder to get out of the slump he got in to begin with.


Stay tuned.

Rangers keep manager Ron Washington through 2014 with two-year contract extension

From Hardball Talk

Ron Washington’s contract was set to expire after this season, but the Rangers have signed the 60-year-old manager to a two-year extension that will keep him in Texas through 2014.

Washington’s current deal was also a two-year extension inked after the 2010 season, which was the Rangers’ first of back-to-back AL championships.

Washington replaced Buck Showalter in 2007 and went just 75-87 in his first season, but the Rangers have increased their win total in each season since, going from 75 to 79 to 87 to 90 to 96 (which is a team record).

Overall he’s 427-383 (.527) in five seasons, which trails only Joe Girardi, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, Mike Scioscia, and Ron Gardenhire among active managers with multiple seasons of experience.

No word yet on if Little Wash also got an extension.

NLBM’s Legacy Awards link present to past

By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com

KANSAS CITY — Rangers manager Ron Washington was having a great time on Saturday at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, his destination to receive the C.I. Taylor Award as American League manager of the year. But he was really looking forward to his next visit to Kansas City.

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A recording of Ron Washington’s speech before Game 7

The fine fellas at Joe Sports Fan have obtained a recording of Rangers manager Ron Washington’s pregame speech from Game 7 of the World Series.

It’s about as graphic as it gets, with Washington frequently referring to Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter as “mutha-f#%king Carp.” He also quotes the Three Musketeers, so there’s that.

JSF’s Matt Sebek says the audio was recorded by a member of the Rangers clubhouse staff. Give it a listen (over and over and over again) right here.

Or simply hit play on the embedded video below.

Caution, strong content!

Ron Washington’s Game 7 Clubhouse Speech from JoeSportsFan.com on Vimeo.

Rejoice: Li’l Ron Washington (And His Mustache) Are Back For The World Series

From Sports Grid

You remember Li’l Ron Washington, right? The kid (real name: Liam Roybal) who took the baseball world by storm last year with a Halloween costume that made him look exactly like a miniature replica of the Rangers manager? Well, a year later the Rangers are right back in the World Series…and rest assured, that means Li’l Ron is back too. Dallas station WFAA (a.k.a. the people who didn’t air Stephen Colbert’s lockout ad) tracked Roybal down:

One year later with Lil’ Ron Washington

Eight-year-old Liam Roybal became famous last October when he dressed up like Rangers manager Ron Washington for Halloween. News 8 caught up with Liam a year later to see if he was cheering the Rangers on to another World Series. view full article


We’re glad he’s going back to the Li’l Ron well for a few reasons. One: the costume was fantastic. Two: we have no doubt Roybal could still pull it off, even with braces. He’s eight years old, putting him well within the age threshold after which stunts like this stop being cute. (Example: at Rutgers football games, this one little kid got shown on the scoreboard at pretty much every game for a couple years running, rocking out to “Livin’ on a Prayer” – even earning the nickname “Li’l Jovi.” This year: haven’t seen him once. He’s 14 now – he got too old for it.) Three: it allowed a news graphic to say: “Liam will be shaving his head down the middle again & getting his mustache.”

One other interesting fact: the costume wasn’t even originally meant to mimic Ron Washington:

Liam dressed up for Halloween as an old man, but people thought he resembled a little Ron Washington – so he put on the uniform and went with it.

Smart move. Welcome back, Li’l Ron. Maybe you’ll bring the Rangers better luck this time around. And if not, there’s always Pumpkin Ron.

You have to love Ron Washington’s excitement

Check out how Ron Washington’s excitement gets on camera. This was his reaction to Josh Hamilton’s game winning hit Tuesday night.


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