Ron Washington Goes Off Rangers' Script, Admits Running Team "Into the Ground"

Categories: Sports

The Rangers just wrapped up their 2012 post-mortem press conference. It was by and large quite boring, probably by design. You can imagine the team's PR gurus urging the team brass to keep it vague, uninteresting, answer-free.

For the most part they succeeded. GM Jon Daniels and president Nolan Ryan did the bulk of the talking, mostly insisting that they were happy with everyone's performance and that it was too early to say much specific about the off-season. They're disappointed in the way Josh Hamilton's season ended, they said, as is Hamilton. They won't pre-empt his free agent market-testing with a contract offer.

Otherwise, no decisions have been made on the coaching staff, other free agents to pursue, the salary cap or anything else, including, one can assume, lunch.

"JD, have you considered a turkey sandwich on sourdough, maybe with avocado?" Evan Grant didn't ask but should have.

"Turkey is obviously a quality protein, but it's still too early to talk specifics," Daniels would have said.

It went on like that until halfway through the presser, when someone asked Manager Ron Washington to do a little self-evaluation. He obliged, of course.

"Maybe I played them into the ground," he said. He was acknowledging an oft-cited criticism of the way he handled his roster this season, during which seven starters played 147 games or more. Five -- Kinsler, Andrus, Cruz, Young, Beltre -- played more than 155.

It led, he said, to the team failing to execute late in the season.

"When I look back at when it started, it was in Seattle," he said. "We just never had enough guys in the lineup hitting on the cylinders at the same time."

"It wasn't just in the lineup" either, he said. It was in the pitching, it was in the baserunning, it was everything, he said.

"I question myself for that. There's always something you can learn in this game."

What was especially cool about Washington's honesty was that it dragged the entire show off-script. Later, Daniels came to his manager's defense, and in the process had to get specific about his own short-comings.

"There's not a guy who's more honest, more accountable, more open [than Washington], and I think that's why players respect him," Daniels said. "I appreciate him saying that maybe the reason [they lost] was the players were out of gas, but there were a lot of reasons."

Among those reasons, Daniels said: They often didn't have a good enough fifth starter to run out there, which theoretically could have handcuffed Wash into over-playing his best hitters. (Remember, Daniels pointed out: One more regular-season win and the Rangers are still playing.)

"Wash preaches accountability," Daniels said, "so he's taking accountability. But it's not on him. It's on all of us. But especially Hamilton."

I added the emphasis on that last part. I also made it up. He didn't say that. He wanted to though. I could hear it.

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Stay out of sports, triple-fake cat lady. We'll stay out of feline critiques.


Wash may not be the best manager for the future if he can't get over his over-reliance on his same old vets and not maximize the entire roster. Using Holland in relief, weird pinch hitting/running moves and non-moves, terrible baserunning, and letting too many guys attempt to play through terrible stretches without being benched (Hamilton, Napoli, Cruz, Kinsler, Young all needed to be sat down for a game or three to clue them in) doesn't give me much hope that Michael Young won't play in 155 games again next season even if he can't hit above .230 doing it.


Hamilton's gone. He'll take some crazy offer from a Baltimore or Cleveland or Toronto giving him far too many years and dollars, and I'm applying my CJ theory that he was just a pain in the ass in the clubhouse that most players won't be all that sad to see him gone. I'd deal Kinsler too to clear room for Profar to play 2nd, but Kinsler just gets on my nerves and always has. Young and Cruz have got to hit and defend better than this year or not get as much playing time. And for the love of Jeebus, find a catcher and first baseman that can be consistent.


Still love Little E. They better not deal him so Profar can play SS and because they're concerned Boras will take him to the Yankees when he's a free agent.



scottindallas topcommenter

Norm made a great point today on number of games played,   Derek Jeter played more games than the most worked Ranger, most teams had player play many more games.  They are what they are.  Let's not let excuses color our thinking.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I love Wash, I hope he is around for many more years.  He give great interviews and press conferences and his honesty is blunt!   Nothing more the media could want from a manager of a sports team.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Nothing wrong with Washington.  His aging players just can't cut it anymore.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @Scruffygeist I said aging, not old.  But since you're in a mean spirit, the Ranger do happen to be the 7th oldest team in the league; and if you only count the starting lineup, maybe the oldest.


Hams gone, Young will continue to play 25 games more than he should and if Lil E is traded it's to help fill holes and because he'll be a free agent in two years, repped by Boras and that's the year that Jeter will (probably) retire.


joe.tone moderator

 @scottindallas True about Jeter. Also, Buster Posey plays catcher, was coming off of a broken leg, played 149 games and finished the season like 92 for 92 (approx.) So the they-were-tired theory does seem a little thin. But we don't love Wash because he's right, we love him because he shoots his mouth off!

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz aging?  who Michael Young?  This team is by no mean old, worn out from 2 very long seasons sure, but they are not old


 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz They're not young, and I make no claim they are. I do dispute that there's nothing wrong with Wash--because there most definitely is. Could they find a better manager for this team to plug in right now? Not saying that at all, but he's got to alter his style next season or face the same potential outcome. He's like Tony Romo--good, not great, not the biggest problem to fix first, but not innocent either. 


Posey is about 23-24 yo...doesn't play 40-50 games a year in over 100 degree heat..plays quite a bit of first as well, right? And he is currently on the verge of having a fairly early off season just like us, in closing POW!

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