ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Ian Kinsler #5 and manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers celebrate after Kinsler scores on a Josh Hamilton #32 single in the first inning during Game Six of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Say what you want about Ron Washington's baseball strategy or his at-times shady past or whatever else negative you want to say about him, some with good reason.
But one thing is for certain. Ron Washington knows how to win baseball games. He's improved the team's win total in each of his seasons managing the Rangers.
One other thing is for certain. His players love playing for him.
Though it was controversial, the leaked pregame speech from Game 7 of the World Series is a classic example of why his players love playing for him so much.
So while he might get "out-managed" sometimes by the all-time greats like Tony La Russa, there arguably is no one in the game who is more respected and appreciated by his players, and that is a huge part of managing a baseball team.
He's just as much a part of this team as Josh Hamilton or Michael Young, and he should be treated as such.
HIs contract runs up after the 2012 season, and that should change before the season, or even spring training, starts.
Washington will soon be a candidate on par with Terry Francona, Ozzie Guillen, and all the other big names out there. He hasn't won a World Series, but he's been to two straight, which is a huge accomplishment in itself.
So if the Rangers are smart, they will get give Washington a 3-4 year extension and hit a pre-emptive strike in preventing Washington from being flirted with by other teams either this off-season or next off-season.