Michael Young holds the William Harridge Award trophy on stage with manager Ron Washington and Nelson Cruz.
The Texas Rangers' problems this season are well-chronicled.
They've been plagued with injury, and even before, they had trouble producing power in their lineup even with the addition of Prince Fielder, who was likely hampered all season by the injury that required him to have season-ending cervical fusion surgery.
Their pitching staff has also been wrecked by injury as the Rangers are far and away the big-league leaders in DL transactions, players on the DL and starts lost to injury. It's been a historically catastrophic year from an injury standpoint — one unlike any we will maybe ever see again.
Yet, the Rangers have hovered around .500 all season. With their current five-game losing skid excluded, they've treaded water basically all season, which is quite an accomplishment given their roster makeup and the fact they're playing in what has become the best division in baseball.
For that, Rangers manager Ron Washington deserves credit, one former Ranger said.
"Judging by the fact they’ve lost a lot of guys, this might be the best job that he’s done,” former Rangers great Michael Young told ESPN Dallas recently at Dirk Nowitzki's celebrity baseball game in Frisco. “Considering the roster they have and all the young guys they’ve had to run out there, it’s a pretty incredible job he’s done, but I’m a biased guy. Wash, to me, is one of the best in the business if not the best. I love the guy. I think he’s done a great job.”
It's hard to argue Young's sentiment.
Guys like Dan Robertson, Luis Sardinas, Rougned Odor, Aaron Poreda, Josh Wilson, Donnie Murphy, Nick Martinez and more were all unexpectedly pressed into duty. Yet, as bleak as things seem, the Rangers are still within striking distance of a wild card spot in the AL playoffs with a month still to play before the MLB trade deadline.
Will the Rangers make up that deficit? It's far from likely, but the fact they've remained an average baseball team with all their bad fortune does speak highly of Washington and the job he's done this year.