38 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training for the Texas Rangers.
And it will be a weird spring training, as our long-time #38, Ron Washington, won't be managing the team anymore. It will be the first time since 2006 that we'll have another manager running camp.
Its weird...even though Ron Washington resigned in September, even though Tim Bogar managed the team for the final few weeks, even though Jeff Banister has been announced and is in place, I still think of Ron Washington as the Rangers manager. When I think of the upcoming season, I still visualize Wash slowly walking out to the mound for a pitching change like his feet hurt. I think about someone like Colby Rasmus, and think, he's someone who Wash might be able to get through to and get the most out of, and then remember Wash isn't gone.
Wash drove me crazy sometimes, but I loved having him as the Rangers manager. The best years I've had as a Ranger fan came under his watch, and I'm still sad he's gone.
Don't get me wrong...I'm optimistic about Jeff Banister. I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll do. But it won't be the same without Wash around.