Managing a Rangers game during the 2011 season
|Texas Rangers – No. 38|
|Shortstop / Manager|
Born: April 29, 1952 (age 61)
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|September 10, 1977 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 7, 1989 for the Houston Astros|
(through July 31, 2013)
|Runs batted in||146|
Ronald Washington (born April 29, 1952) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and the current manager of the Texas Rangers. Prior to managing the Rangers, Washington coached in the New York Mets and Oakland Athleticsorganizations.
Playing career[edit source | editbeta]
Washington was signed by the Kansas City Royals on July 17, 1970. He spent the next ten seasons in the minor leagues with three different organizations (Royals, Mets, and Dodgers). He earned a brief September callup with theLos Angeles Dodgers in 1977 hitting .368 (7 for 19). He wouldn't return to the major league level until 1981 with theMinnesota Twins where he would remain until 1986. He then played one season each for the Baltimore Orioles,Cleveland Indians, and Houston Astros before retiring from Triple-A Oklahoma City in 1990. He was a middle infielder for most of his career. On May 28, 1988, while playing for the Indians, Washington broke up Milwaukee Brewers pitcherOdell Jones' no-hit bid after 8 and 1/3 innings with a pinch-hit single.
Coaching career[edit source | editbeta]
Following his retirement as a player, Washington worked in the New York Mets organization for five years. After being hired as the Oakland Athletics first base coach in 1996 under his former Astros manager Art Howe, Washington then served as infield and third base coach for the A's between 1997 and 2006. As infield coach Washington has been credited for developing much of the A's young infield talent in the last decade, including six-time Gold Glover Eric Chavez, and former MVP and A's shortstop Miguel Tejada. In 2004, Chavez expressed his appreciation by giving Washington one of his Gold Glove trophies, signed "Wash, not without you."
Washington plays a significant role in the events of the book Moneyball, a book detailing how the A's have been successful despite a small budget. Washington is shown in a positive light for the way he trained Scott Hatteberg to field first base for the first time in his career. Washington is also, however, portrayed as too old-fashioned and traditional in his lack of acceptance of general manager Billy Beane's sabermetric strategies. He was portrayed in the film adaptationof the book by Brent Jennings.
Manager[edit source | editbeta]
On November 6, 2006, the Texas Rangers announced that Washington had accepted their offer to manage the teamreplacing Buck Showalter, who was fired a month earlier. Washington beat out four other candidates for the job: Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, then New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta, Nippon Ham Fightersmanager Trey Hillman and former Rangers catcher John Russell.
At the beginning of the 2007 season, it was rumored that there was a rift between Washington and Rangers star Mark Teixeira. Asked about it, Washington responded,
A lot of times we make three outs on four or five pitches... I just can't see that late in the game when you're four or five runs down. You're at the point where the starter is out of the game, you're in the middle (of the bullpen), these are the guys you want to get to. I've never asked him (Teixeira) to do it when the closer is in the game. But the middle guys, you want to make 'em throw... He feels like he's going to only get one pitch in that type of situation to do something with. He wants to take advantage of it. I've got no problem with that. But can you guarantee with that one pitch that you're going to do something with it? I don't think any ballplayer on earth can guarantee that. You might pop it up, miss it, roll over it, jam yourself. Then you make one out on one pitch. I want to see him get a pitchers' strike right there.
Teixeira was traded to the Atlanta Braves in July 2007 and had been rumored to have been on the trading block before reports of tensions with Washington, as his agent, Scott Boras, had refused to negotiate a contract extension beyond the 2008 season. Reports also suggested tensions between Washington and catcher Gerald Laird. Questioned about the rumors, Washington conceded that the pressure he put on Laird was "a lot to put on a young kid... (But) that's what we've got. He's got to grow up fast."
On August 6, 2007, Washington was ejected for the first time of his managerial career after arguing with umpire Bill Miller over a called third strike to Michael Young, who also was ejected. On March 17, 2010, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported that Washington tested positive for cocaine during the 2009 season and has admitted to using cocaine.
Washington would become only the second manager of the Rangers franchise, after Johnny Oates, to take his team to the post-season after winning the AL West in 2010; the team's first division title in 11 years. On October 12, 2010, Washington became the first manager in franchise history to win a playoff series, with a 3–2 victory in the ALDS over the Tampa Bay Rays. On October 22, 2010, Washington's Rangers defeated the New York Yankees in the ALCS in six games, to advance to their first World Series in franchise history, before losing to the San Francisco Giants in five games. He also became the third African American to manage a team into a World Series, joining Cito Gaston, who managed the Toronto Blue Jays to the World Championship in the 1992 and 1993 World Series, and Dusty Baker, who managed the Giants in the 2002 World Series.
Referring to Washington, second baseman Ian Kinsler said: "I just love the way he never holds his emotion back, especially when he's managing. He hangs on every pitch, and it's great to know that your manager is in every single pitch and cares that much." In 2009 his salary was about $750,000. On November 4, 2010, Washington agreed to a two-year contract extension.
On October 15, 2011, Washington managed the Rangers to their second World Series in as many years, when the Rangers defeated the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. The Rangers eventually lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games, after twice being one strike away from the title in game 6. On January 30, 2012, Washington agreed to another two-year contract extension. He managed the American League in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.
On September 2, 2012, Washington earned his 507th win as a manager of the Texas Rangers, passing Johnny Oates for 2nd most wins by a Rangers manager. As of the end of the 2012 season, Washington is 61 wins behind Bobby Valentine for first place in wins.
See also[edit source | editbeta]
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2007
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2008
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2009
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2010
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2011