On June 16, the sky was falling on the Texas Rangers. In the middle of an 11-game home stand, the Rangers had lost six games in a row. It looked as if all the injuries was finally catching up to Ron Washington and the Rangers. The Rangers pitching staff has been pieced together all season long. With Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis injured for the entire first half of the season, Texas has had to rely on rookies Tanner Scheppers and Justin Grimm to help out Derrick Holland and Yu Darvish.
Obviously, the offense took a hit this past offseason when Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young all found themselves on different ball clubs. With the offensive production gone, many people wondered where the production would come from. After Harrison and Lewis landed on the DL, many people figured the Rangers would have an off year.
Fast-forward to June 29, and the Rangers have won nine of their last 12 games. At the halfway point of the season, Texas sits a half game up on the Oakland Athletics for first place in the American League West. Obviously there is still a long way to go in the MLB season, but if this continues there should be some strong consideration for Washington to win the Manager of the Year award.
The way he gets his team ready to play every night is something remarkable. Washington, at times, seems more like a cheerleader in the dugout rather than the man running the team. Whatever he is doing seems to be working, though. Whatever his methods, the Rangers have bought into the unconventional manager and sometimes that outweighs talent any day of the week.