Well, don't know if you've heard, but the Rangers hired a new manager yesterday. Evan Grant's article includes some effusive quotes from Tom Hicks about Washington, and Washington seems to have made a terrific impression at his press conference yesterday.
Jim Reeves, who was a big Buck backer and was critical of the decision to fire Showalter, and who then was urging the team to go with Trey Hillman, seems lukewarm on the deal, calling Washington a "longshot" for the managerial job, and adding:
No, the winner of the Rangers' 17th managerial sweepstakes is long shot Ron Washington, the guy with the two-year minor league managerial record that sits at an unimpressive 28-games under .500. Of course, mention that and someone around the Rangers will say, yeah, but that was 12 years ago, like it's a positive that he hasn't managed anywhere since 1994.
Nothing personal against Washington -- in fact, I'm absolutely certain I'm going to love being around the guy, because everybody else seems to -- but I don't get it.
There's a surprising amount of sniping by Reeves in his column, including the implication that Hicks and Daniels passed on a "proven winner" in Trey Hillman because the Rangers wouldn't be able to recognize a winner.
Conversely, Kevin Sherrington seems pretty positive on the hiring, noting that Washington is held in extremely high regard by his former players, and quoting Twins centerfielder Torii Hunter as saying that, if he were a free agent, his first choice would be whatever team had Ron Washington.
Evan Grant has a Q&A about issues relating to the Washington hiring, including whether Washington is going to be more of a "small ball" manager, and what Don Wakamatsu's future here may hold.
Grant also has an item about the Rangers' infielders take on the hire, with all four players -- Teixeira, Kinsler, Young and Blalock -- speaking well of the decision. Jan Hubbard has a similar piece, also touching on Eric Chavez giving Washington one of his Gold Glove awards and players collecting money for Washington's family after Hurricane Katrina left him and many family members homeless.
The DMN says Art Howe is the first choice to be bench coach. The Philadelphia Daily News hits on that as well, outlining the reasons it is likely Howe, who was just hired as the Phillies third base coach, will likely end up in Texas instead.
The Oakland Tribune has an article with the reaction of A's players to Washington's departure, and Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News rips Billy Beane for letting Washington go, rather than making him the new A's manager.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Beane has not yet asked for formal permission to interview Wakamatsu.