After seven years as the manager of the Texas Rangers, Ron Washington got a contract extension before the 2014 MLB season. Well, sort of. One year was tacked onto Washington’s expiring contract, which will keep him in Arlington through the 2015 MLB season unless Rangers general manager Jon Daniels decides to fire him between now and then. Either way, he won’t walk as a free man in the meantime.
Had the extension been a lucrative or even semi-lucrative one, the entire DFW sports world would be abuzz debating whether or not he deserved it, but the evidence is in the enchiladas, folks: Washington is by far the most successful manager in Rangers history and the team would not have played in back-to-back World Series in 2010 and ’11 without him. Of course, he didn’t do it alone.
It can be argued that Daniels deserves the most credit for the Rangers’ recent success and he was the one who hired Washington just one year into his tenure in Texas and gave Buck Showalter the boot in 2006. His bold roster moves have changed the Rangers from perennial division cellar dwellers to annual title contenders, but Washington definitely deserves some credit for that along with a little bit of blame for losses in both World Series appearances. But the fact remains: The Rangers wouldn’t have even made those trips without him.
With all this, let’s remember what’s important: What Washington and the Rangers do next is all that matters. If Texas fails to make the postseason or gets bounced early again, you can bet Daniels will begin looking for a replacement. If Washington proves he knows how to exploit the new talent he’s been given, this extra contract year will give Daniels time to decide the skipper’s long-term future. It’s a great under-the-radar move by the Rangers’ organization and Texas fans should be on pins and needles heading into the upcoming season.