On Friday night against the Oakland A’s, Ron Washington tied Bobby Valentine for the most wins as the manager of the Texas Rangers. With the 8-3 win over the A’s, Washington now has 581 wins as the skipper. Valentine, the Rangers’ manager between 1985 and 1992, needed 1,186 games to reach the mark. Washington did it 220 games sooner, reaching the mark in game 966.
Washington spent 11 seasons with the A’s before joining the Rangers as the lead guy. During that time, he’s led Texas to two AL Pennants. The two visits to the World Series were the only ones in club history. Washington doesn’t seem to get the credit he deserves behind the bench. Before this season, he had Josh Hamilton to help carry the offensive load. This year, though, has been different. Washington has shown his true managing ability as he has had to overcome injuries to key people.
Despite the injury situation, the Rangers are only 2.5 games back in the AL West. This is an enormous feat considering less than a week ago, people were ready to write them off completely. Texas sat six games behind the A’s coming into play Monday night against the Los Angeles Angeles. After three dramatic walk-off wins and a dominating performance from Yu Darvish, Texas entered Friday’s game 3.5 games behind Oakland.
Washington will become the all-time winningest manager in Rangers history pretty soon. With Matt Garza on the mound tomorrow and Derek Holland pitching Sunday, the chances are pretty good that it will come in Oakland. More importantly, with those two taking the ball, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Texas leaves Oakland only .5 game back in the division. Either way, this should be a fascinating final two months to the season.