This was supposed to be the year the Los Angeles Angels, and even the Oakland A's, came back to life and sent the Texas Rangers back where they belong — on their couches in October.
Instead, the Rangers have won more games than they did last season when they went to the World Series.
There's a lot of reasons for that, but one of the big ones is the way Ron Washington has managed his team with his "stick with your guys" philosophy.
The Rangers failed to re-sign Cliff Lee in the winter, throwing their best offer at him but losing out to Philadelphia. There were no other aces to be had, so the Rangers were left with C.J. Wilson, who, two years prior, was a set-up man.
Josh Hamilton was shelved for more than a month just two weeks into the season. Adrian Beltre followed suit in July. Nelson Cruz had his usual multiple DL stints, and Michael Young came into the season pissed off at the world, wanting to be a Colorado Rockie.
The list of decks stacked against Washington is a long one, but he stuck with it and kept things right in the clubhouse, like only Wash do.
Most likely, if the Tampa Bay Rays end up passing the fading Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild Card, Tampa manager Joe Maddon will get the award, and it'd be tough to argue that seeing as how Tampa Bay lost a ton from last year.
But Washington should have gotten the award last season over Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire, and he didn't. This is Major League Baseball's chance to make up for that oversight.