Memo to Ron Washington: It's the, Um, Postseason, Just In Case You Forgot

Categories: Sports

Ron_Washington5_070710_Merten.jpg
Photos by Sam Merten
Perhaps more than any of his players, Ron Washington needs to break out of his postseason slump.
After the Texas Rangers fired Buck Showalter following the 2006 season, general manager Jon Daniels interviewed five candidates. Of course, there was Ron Washington, a longtime third base and infield coach for the American League West rival A's who wasn't interviewed for Oakland's managerial vacancy. Then-Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, former Rangers director of player development Trey Hillman, then-New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta and then-Philadelphia Phillies minor league skipper John Russell rounded out the field.

The Rangers' brass had already made up its mind that it needed to hire an inexperienced manager to grow with a young club and relatively new front office, as Joe Girardi, Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella weren't considered, even though they didn't have gigs at the time.

Wakamatsu, Hillman, Acta and Russell were hired as managers elsewhere after they weren't chosen by Daniels, with very little success. Only Acta still has a managing job, although Cleveland is his second stop after a failed two and a half year stint in Washington, with the others currently holding bench coach positions.

Although he had some rough seasons in '07 and '08, Wash helped turn Texas into a perennial contender, highlighted by last year's World Series appearance -- the first in franchise history. Even with his startling admission of using cocaine during the 2009 season and World Series wins by Girardi and Bochy, Wash was and still is unquestionably the right man for the job.

But some of his decisions this postseason have left me completely baffled.

My frustration peaked yesterday afternoon as C.J. Wilson took the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning with the game tied at 2 and Ryan Raburn, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez scheduled to hit.

Despite Wilson's postseason struggles and having surrendered home runs to Alex Avila in the third inning and Delmon Young in the fourth inning, no one was warming up in the bullpen with Wilson at 76 pitches and facing the Tigers' three best hitters.

As I suggested in yesterday's open thread, Scott Feldman would have made perfect sense to me. Feldman had pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings in the postseason and could have pitched a couple innings if needed.

But Feldman wasn't warming up. Nobody was.

Raburn ripped a single into left, and then, as Washington repeatedly said after the game, the Tigers "caught a break" when Cabrera ripped a grounder down the third base line that hit the bag and bounced over Adrian Beltre's head for a double. Sure, Detroit was fortunate there, but, as Washington says, "That's the way baseball go."

The following triple by Victor Martinez past a diving Nelson Cruz scored Cabrera, and, suddenly, Detroit had a 4-2 lead.

That woulda been a great time to bring in a reliever to stop the bleeding, but, of course, no one was ready.

After Delmon Young crushed a fastball from Wilson to extend the lead to 6-2 with no outs, there still wasn't anyone ready to come into the game.

Wilson eventually got Texas out of the inning after 33 more pitches to put his total at 109, but not without issuing a walk to Brandon Inge -- one of baseball's least productive hitters.

It was an ugly, ugly turn of events that would have been much different had Wash not given Wilson enough rope to hang himself.

A defeated Washington then sent Koji Uehara out for the seventh inning, the equivalent of raising the white flag. And, to no one's surprise, Uehara surrendered a homer to Raburn, giving the Tigers a commanding 7-2 lead.

The Rangers would rally to score three more runs after a two-run blast by Nelson Cruz in the eighth and an RBI single by Michael Young in the ninth, but it would fall just short, as Mike Napoli grounded out with Young on second and Beltre on first to end the game.

It's hard to say what would have happened had Wash brought in someone in the sixth, and it depends on when he did it and who was brought in, but that, along with having anyone other than Uehara out there for the seventh, could have made Young's hit in the tying or winning run.

Ron_Washington6_070710_Merten.jpg
The episode was eerily similar to Wash's second biggest gaffe of the series, which was keeping Colby Lewis on the mound in the sixth inning of Game 3. Instead of yanking a moderately effective Lewis in the sixth, Wash kept him out there for 111 pitches (a number he reached just six times in the regular season). Lewis promptly gave up a dinger to Jhonny Peralta and a single to Andy Dirks. Dirks would steal second after -- you guessed it -- Uehara took the mound and surrendered a single to Austin Jackson, scoring Dirks. Again, poof! It went from a tied game to 4-2 in no time.

These maneuvers (or lack thereof) might be perfectly understandable during the regular season, but there's no margin for error in the postseason -- a concept Wash doesn't seem to comprehend.

If I had to sum up his reasoning in one word, I'd say it's stubbornness, which brings me to my second major complaint, although it's not a new one.

The lineup needs serious tweaking. And everyone can see it except Wash.

There are plenty of options and plenty of reasons why something should be done. And while Michael Young hitting cleanup has confused me ever since Wash started hitting him there a couple months ago, it's his refusal to bump up Nelson Cruz that's most puzzling.

For example, why not, at the very least, swap Beltre and Cruz in yesterday's lineup? Although Beltre looked better yesterday, he was clearly hobbled in Game 4. And, sure enough, Cruz would have likely faired better than Beltre in two key situations yesterday afternoon. With Michael Young on second base in the first inning, Beltre lined out to Inge. And with Hamilton on first and Andrus on second in the fifth, Beltre flied out to center.

After the game, no one asked about the lineup or putting Uehara out there, but someone did ask if he considered having someone ready to face Cabrera in the sixth. Nope. "C.J. was throwing the ball well," Wash responded.

Mangers are gonna make mistakes. That's just the nature of the business. In fact, Jim Leyland has made a couple shocking moves of his own, intentionally walking Beltre in Game 4 and leaving Verlander in the game for a career-high 133 pitches yesterday.

While the Rangers remain in the driver's seat in the ALCS with a 3-2 lead heading home, a couple more perplexing moves by Wash could give Detroit all it needs to pull out two more victories.

Here's hoping yesterday was a wake-up call.

My Voice Nation Help
82 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Venture capital Texas
Venture capital Texas

 Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!

154443
154443

Nike Lebron shoes andNike ZOOM LeBron  new burberry replica burberry lebron 8 v2i want to look some pandora jewellery; pandora  jewellery beads cheap  nfl jerseys or jersey supply and religion jeans, you can leave a email  to me! thank you! nike air max 2011white air maxnike griffey maxreligions jeanstrue religions jeans true religion jeans outletbears jersey blackhawks jerseyken griffey shoes air griffey maxken griffey jr shoesair griffey max 2cheap Pandora Necklacescheap Pandora Ringscheap Pandora Setscheap Pondora Packagesherve leger bandage dressesmoncler down jacketmoncler doudounesmoncler coatcheap moncler jacketdetroit lions jerseycheap authentic jerseyscheap nfl jerseysyouth nfl jerseysnfl jerseys wholesalereligion jeans outlettrue religion storetrue religionstrue religion billytrue religion menmen Bootcut jeansmen Flare jeansmen Skinny jeansstraight leg jeantrue religion womenwomen bootcut jeanswomen Flare jeanscut off jeans shortsgirls skinny jeansstraight legs jeansnike shox shoessb dunkstrue religion joeytrue religions jeanstrue religion men jeanscheap religion jeanscheap true religion men jeanstrue religion boys jeanstrue religion billy menstrue religion cargo pantstrue religion corduroy jeanstrue religion capristrue religion joey jeanscheap religion jeanstrue religion mens skinnyTrue Religion Straight Legtrue religion womens jeanstrue religion denim jeanstrue religion denim shortstrue religion straight leg jeansTrue Religion Wide Leg skinny bootcut jeans True Religion lizzyTrue Religion joey rainbowTrue Religion casey leggingTrue Religion lone starTrue Religion stella

True Religion shirts for women

true religion uk

moncler uk

moncler down jacketsmoncler hommes

blackhawks jerseybears jersey

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

I had the same concerns about Wilson during the game, but I finally concluded that Wash left Wilson out to dry because he didnt want to tire out bullpen arms, trying to beat Verlander, that we would probably need on Saturday. Might as well let everyone rest and give us the best shot at winning at home. Imagine if we had spent a bunch of arms and lost the game anyway and Feldman and Ogando were useless last night. I probably would have told Wilson the same thing: dude, we gotta save the bullpen for the weekend, so you're on your own out there tonight.But I totally don't understand why Cruz is still hitting 7th. Sure its working, but would it not work just as well to get that bat working in the first inning or two?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Observer-ations from the Horn game:

How does Case lose his co-qb status?I said three weeks ago: Ash should run this thing, but he isn't any better than Case at this time.OSU is overrated, but likely still gonna take care of this.OSU's QB is surely overrated by a ton.Texas D doesn't look horrible.Texas O is horrible.I'm still pissed about not having TLN, gonna miss the ding dang KSU game..it appears.As long as U of T closes the deal with Jgray from Aledo, we're gonna have the best backfield in Amurica next season. Brown is a stud.Praying for Rock Chalk tonight, to knock Landry clean out of his shoes.White boy receiver for Aggs is good.

Nestorthomas
Nestorthomas

I can not agree with you more.  Wash has made a lot of mistake this year as a manger in the regular season as well as in the postseason.  This mistake are so obvious that we can see from an airplane.  I just dont believe his strategy to play this game.  It did the same thing during the regular season when we blown 10 saves. ESPN has admited that Texas is the best team in baseball as fall as talent.  I dont think that the fan's will take his mistake for so long. To be honest I doubt if we get to the World Series.

Markevansyoung
Markevansyoung

It's funny how you writers who probably never came close to stepping on a baseball field other than to interview someone, always criticize players and managers. Can you at least be happy the man got us in the world series last year and has us on the doorstep of the series again. Do us all a favor and shut up. If your opinion mattered they would have asked you to manage.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

What a stupid fuck you are. This is what writers, bloggers and sports talk shows do. They all qusetion the moves all managers make. I'm very happy he me to managed us to the alcs, but I don't want him to manage us out of the playoffs either

ChrisU
ChrisU

i was up early so maybe i can help.a) he's a blogger he doesn't have to be qualifiedb) he's a journalist so he'll probably never be happyc) he's got a pretty active thread going here so he must be doing something right

gofuhcureself
gofuhcureself

Wait. What the hell is this? A high quality Rangers' post on an Observer blog? WOW! When did you come back, Mr. Merten? I decided to drop by and look what I found. Definite thumbs up from me.

What's strange is that Wash seems to have had a quick hook all series - until Game 5. It just wasn't meant to be for the Rangers in game 5. ...Beltre's almost 3 run homer that barely went foul. ....same at bat - Beltre's 410+ ft blast that's a 3 run homer @ RBiA - and most other ballparks - but just another fly out at cursed Comerica i.e. Rangers' house of horrors. ...of course, then that whole 6th inning - and everything.

Still have to believe that this series is over after game 6.

Here's a 'pisser-offer' - St. Louis, with their 90 wins and wild card status, are one win away from not only making it to the WS, but having home field for the WS as well. Makes you want to shout my name at Bud Selig.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

The Broken End:

Our beloved Redshoes return to the house that GW, Schieffer and Nolan helped to build.

Tis not a series until the away team wins. They need to win two, we need to win one. Don't get out thera on that ding dang ledge folks, everything is gonna be Okey Dokey.

I hope to see the good Holland tomorrow, but as long as the Amish are ready.. #thebullpenisstrongerthananyones

My beloved Horns from the Fourty, IMHO, are destined to take another arse whoopin at the hands of another team of wagonburning trailer dwellars mañana. But as I stated a year ago, I will accept a shitty year in Austin for a chance at Julio Franco sized gold.

Cowboys: Where to start really..Pats weren't anymore impressive than the Boys last week vs NYJ..I scouted them from a video poker machine with unlimited "free beer" last weekend. That said, unless Brady stays at home to lay with his wifey all day..No effing way these bunch of sissies walk out of the Fox with a victory.

Soooo their figure skating in Dallas again this year. Did hear Razor say that one of the new guys is dating Kelly Kelly from the wrestling..move over Mikey Mo, yours won't be the finest arm candy at the cookouts anymore.

Five days is a helluva alot longer in Vegas, than at home with several children. Video poker doesn't compare to Video Keno.. Bet a quarter at a time on five numbers or a Fiddy cent piece at a time on four numbers..(both seemed to work quite well, wink wink).

Vegas food scene from a guy that eats most days:

Spagos at the Ceasar=Over..Rated..clap clap...though their red wine was muey bueno.

Smith and Wollenskys= Prob the best oysters and clam on 1/2 shell I've ever had the chance to taste. Lobster and lobster claws with some pulled crab meat were also tremendous. 28 day dryaged bone in ribeye with aged gorgonzola on it was quite possibly the best steak somebody else has ever cooked for me. My 55 day wetaged steaks from Miles, TX would give their steak a run for their money though and again their Red wine was tremendous (disclaimer, never drank more than a sip of red in my life before Monday/Tuesday).

Vegas is a fun place to spend a weekend, Binions and the Nugget down by Freemont is something everyone should experience..but no effing way would I care to live anywhere other than the Greatest of states...Texas

Hope our Lil Rangers make it back to the effing World effing Series tomorrow, so Ceej is rested from giving away effing Victoria Secret product today..(that guy don't get it, think Romo going to Cabo level of don't get it.)

Fellow sporties should run, not walk to Grantland.com and check out "Old Dogs"

It makes me want to order a Non UFC fight.

Go Dutchoven!Go Redshoes!

And most of all:

Go Boomstick!

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

Stars- starting better that predicted, can they maintain all year, Kari Lehtonen is the team MVP, will have to play 70 games for this team to have a shot

Cowboys- Somehow pull off 38-35 victory over Pats, in what will be the highest rated TV game of the year.  Romo throws for 400, but brady goes for 500 and dan bailey kicks a game winner.

Rangers- Clinch tomorrow, Holland comes out as the elite Holland, not the 2 y.o Holland

Mav.....meh nevermind, still champs though

FC Dallas-clinched playoff spot this week.  May well have best player in MLS, Brek Shea on our side, but England will be calling for this young man to grace the EPL in the near future

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Rangers-Flavored Radio Scruffyshooting

--BaDD with B back has been muy excelente on the beisbol. I was pleasantly surprised how good Dan was sans Bob, and they've been having excellent discussions all week. They all have good baseball minds when Grubes and Sean get in on it.

--Musers have been pretty damn good on it also, even though I know baseball is less their bag. The Observation Deck going baseball-flavored has been great.

--Hardline has been hit or miss, but those segments when Dan and Mike get their baseball weenies at full mast are outstanding.

--Galloway doing the early shifts and baseball focused has been enjoyable as well. Their Joe Buck interview was pretty good.

--Nadel is amazing. The Rangers have such a top-notch radio broadcast that couldn't ever get enough recognition for what they do.

--Josh & Elf have been disappointing. Kind of generic when you can actually catch them talking baseball between football or reading more things off the internet. Those two may need to be split up, it's not really working for me. Too many dad jokes and dated references still.

--It's a crime Rage got to go to Detroit and the Ticket boys stayed home. That said, I haven't heard one second of them. I ended my personal boycott (even though I'm a "stalker"), but have either found better radio to listen to or just plain missed them. Oh well.

--New School is a giant, steaming turd of radio embarrassment. It makes me miss Jagger. Seriously. A segment of nicknames/slogans for Cruz? All that misplaced arrogance? Stop teasing the next segment with your stupid-ass "answers" to dumbass "questions." You're not experts, stop presenting it that way. The Ticket works because it feels like conversations between sports dudes happens to be broadcast. New School sucks because they try so damn hard to replicate that but with an "of course we know more than you" attitude.

--Love me some Diamond Talk. Sucks that Stars games keep getting in the way.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Agreed about BaD, Bob was sorely missed by this guy, but Dan stepped up and I can always use more Grubes. (haa,giggle in Lil Grub's voice)

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

You may be forgetting about the Professor, Scruff. Spank was Knoxy before Jim Knox.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

bit.ly/nN1NB2

This is the link for the Ceej montage, if'n anyone wants to laugh.

(actually it's a link to Google that types in CJ's drop montage, them boys at the Unticket is smart at puters.)

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I've been itching to do some sports radio observations but I really don't want to derail Sam's excellent write-up for it.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Aw, hell, go for it. I'd like to read 'em. Sam won't mind. Besides we'll have all night tomorrow to talk baseball. (Actually, I may have to make an appearance at the music awards thing in Deep Ellum. But less me, more Sam, besides.) And everyone's held it together for this long, which is much obliged.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I like Sam, Bobby W, and Ranger's baseball....and Beer ..and steak...and big bust blonde wifey types that have had lots of beera

NewsDog
NewsDog

You know it's fun to sit back and speculate. But if he has been doing such a bad job why are there only three other teams still playing baseball?

When you are coaching a MLB team that is one game away from the World Series I might start to listen to you. 

 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

By "speculate" you mean take part in full blown Banal without the B, Don't ya?

(I fixed it boys, no need to mess up our clubhouse)

NewsDog
NewsDog

You would have to ask Sam. It was his speculating I was referring to.

Tones Taint
Tones Taint

Are you a douch all the time or just now?  When you can write an indepth article/editorial for a weekly alt. maybe we will give your comment some credence. Shithead

Anyhow, yea there may be only 3 other teams now, but a couple more bonehead coaching moves and our asses are sitting at home.  If you actually read the article you would have seen that Sam clearly stated that his management style works well for 162 games, but when 4 losses send you home, you have to adapt, just like the players

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

" ... douch ..." ?  " ... Shithead ... " ?

What a well thought out reply, T. Taint. I was thinking NewsDog had a point, but you've turned me completely around.  Wow.

Tones taint
Tones taint

Fuck you too, what are you, the grammar and spelling nazi.  Fucking tools like you just trolling for misspells.  Eat dick and choke on a hyenas aids infest cock

Rangers in 6....maybe
Rangers in 6....maybe

Not a conspiracy guy, but watching that game all I could think of "someone made the call to bring this back to Texas for the win".  Baffling wasn't my word.  Planned is more like it.

G_David
G_David

I was thinking much darker, as in "does Wash owe somebody some money...?" 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Warsh owes everyone money, he has to sleep at the clubhouse after he's done washing the socks and jocks..the only food he eats is sunflower seeds..Ranch flavored naturally.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I would also like to point out that, as you can see, sports can be discussed in an adult like way by what some of you people called the "sportatorium idiot circlejerkers"  To me , when the article elicits well thought out comments, it says more about the writer and the content put into the article than the commenters.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Gagreed. We weren't even appreciated in CoA. Joe Tone even made an appearance. The only thing that has been attempted to assuage us lately has been the open threads and the return of the great Merten. Tip of the cap to Wilonsky.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Thanks for bringing that up TRDP1, after Joey T told us to stay on topic I've noticed that their usual comment total per article is about four...Alice is funny as shit (posted on her candy corn today) and I wasn't in town for 5 outa the last 7 workdays, so I have an excuse for not posting..but why did everyone else quit?

I'd have to think that all the little foodie writers would prefer to be nutkicked by us than not even noticed?

Sincerely, Sport Dummy and Dumb Foodie...

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

I don't mind making Richie cry, but it's just outside my nature to be mean to a girl.  I don't mind busting on Scott occasionally, but hell, the man drinks Bud, so I just can't bust him hard.

Alice = fucking hilarious

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Yeah there are some that will respond to you. I pulled out for the most part after I realized they think they know everything about food and don't take into account their readers have probably worked in the business before. The articles they write where they're asking owners or chefs questions are bigger softballs than I used to hear Norm ask.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Tip of the cap to both and a wag of the finger to anybody that tries to slow them down.  This is some quality sportiness.

I agree that moving Cruz up might throw him off whatever roll he is on, but leaving him unprotected low in the order is just going to get DET to start walking him.  MY shouldn't be batting cleanup given the slump he is in right now, though.

CJ is the Rangers Romo.  Chokes under the big pressure and can't get himself back into the game.  Let him go this off-season if he won't sign for $20M for 5 years.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Saw it while I was still in Vegas..can't pull the trigger on me horns.

7 or 7.5 for the Pats and 56 or so for the o/u, I left it sitting too.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Hope you're right PD, but Methinks it's gonna look like those bad ass 28 point comebacks at half with VY, minus VY and the comeback.

I see dead people.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Well, I meant $20M per year for 5 years...

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

CJ seems to be some sort of hybrid of Dez and Buehler.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

OK, I'm not gonna argue that one, but I will put forward that they are the Siamese twin versions of Romo.

Maybe CJ is the Rangers Danny White.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

I am stupidly optimistic.  OSU is still OSU.  They don't have Stoops on the sideline or Landry Jones under center.  Mack Brown is in Mike Gundy's head.  Freshman teams can be scary and this one has some real speed on the turf.

One of my employees is a OSU homer.  I've been talking trash all week.

Go Horns!  Go Rangers!  Go Stars!

Best fucking time of the year!  3 Sport Fall!

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

the line is 7.5. I'm still trying to figure out how to pull 10k out and put it down somewhere.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Kinsler is the Ranger Romo. I'll rewrite my argument on that if I have to.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

What's up PD? How many is OSU gonna beat our asses by manana?  I wouldn't take Tex+35 tomorrow...

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'd go 75 for 5 years, but not a penny more..as Greggo used to say: Bye Bye!

Karl
Karl

I like them french fried potaters. I reckon I liked em ever since they turned me loose from the nervous hospital.

Mmm.

Sybils_Beaver
Sybils_Beaver

well what wrong with sybils dildo then, its not working like it used to on me

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Hey, Karl, can you drop by tomorrow and fix my lawnmower?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

One of favorite characters of all time, +3 Internet/farmville points for you..Doyle.

Doyle
Doyle

What'cha doin' with that lawn mower blade Karl?

Karl
Karl

It ain't got no gas in it. Mmm.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...