DETROIT, MI - MAY 25: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington #38 walks from the clubhouse to the dugout prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 25, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Rangers defeated the Tigers 12-4. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
For a long time now, Ron Washington has been the best manager in Rangers’ history.
Now he can also boast to being the longest tenured.
Washington – whose team recorded their baseball-best 10th shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Twins Wednesday night – has now managed Texas in 1,187 games; that's more than Bobby Valentine.
Washinton also, cementing his legacy, now has the most managerial wins (637) and best winning percentage (.537).
Relying on gut and guile as much as baseball’s “book,” Washington led the Rangers to consecutive World Series. But he may be doing one of his best jobs this season, coaxing a team ravaged by disabled-list injuries to hover around .500 with players that were never expected to contribute to this season’s team.
On a franchise that has been skippered by the likes of Ted Williams, Whitey Herzog, Billy Martin, Don Zimmer, Johnny Oates and Valentine, no doubt Washington has survived and strived to the head of the class.
“[The longevity] means I had some good players that gave me an opportunity to be a manager for eight years,” Washington told reporters in Minnesota two nights ago. “Players make you what you are.”
But sometimes, as in Washington’s case, managers make players just a little bit better too.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.