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Evan Grant defends Ron Washington

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Evan Grant has a blog entry up, which I think provides a nice counter-point to the calls from the S-T triumvirate of Galloway, Reeves and Floyd Engel for the head of Ron Washington...

Grant provides an interesting study in contrasts, between the way Washington's first couple of months are being covered, and those of his predecessor:

A few years ago, the Rangers brought in a new manager. His team got off to a rollicking start that included 19 more losses than wins by the summer solstice, a starting rotation ERA of 6.80 by the same time and burgeoning feuds with two popular and well-paid stars.

And where exactly were the calls for Buck Showalter's head at that point?

Well, here is Ron Washington, in his first season as manager, and the record is just as awful, the ERA just as bad and the reports of feuds may or may not be exaggerated depending on who you talk to (though no players will talk about it on the record).

The difference is that as far as I can tell, there is a running stream of e-mails calling for his head, ditto for threads on Rangers' related forums and those rare segments on the local talk shows devoted to anything other than Cowboys talk or The Sopranos post-mortems.

There's a lot more, which I'd encourage folks to read...

I will say that I think the main difference between the reaction to Buck's start and the reaction to Washington's start was that Buck's team was expected to be bad, while Washington's team was expected to be decent, and possibly a playoff contender.

I also have to wonder, though, if Buck's political skills, and his cultivating of relationships with the press helped insulate him, particularly early on. I have heard folks say that part of the reason Bobby Valentine was left alone by the press in D/FW, despite mediocre results, was due to the fact that he was a great source of information for members of the media, and those who ripped him would get cut off.

I don't know one way or the other, but I have to wonder if that might play a role in the way the current and former Ranger manager are being treated in the press...