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Washington Gets New Contract After WS Appearance

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington speaks to reporters at AT&T Park.

    Ron Washington has agreed to a new two-year contract that will keep him the skipper of the AL champion Texas Rangers through 2012.

    Further specifics of the deal, which was completed Thursday, have not been released.

    "Nolan (Ryan) and I have said all along that we wanted Ron Washington to be our manager going forward, and today's announcement merely formalizes that extension," commented club general manager Jon Daniels. "Wash has done an excellent job leading the club over the last three years and in creating a winning attitude that led to a World Series appearance in 2010. We look forward to working with him as the club comes together for next season."

    The Rangers Have a Target on Their Back

    [DFW] The Rangers Have a Target on Their Back
    The Texas Rangers had their best season in the ball club's history, and while they didn't win the World Series, Skipper Ron Washington says the team will have a target on its back next season.

    Washington led the Rangers to the first World Series in franchise history this season, capturing the American League pennant for the first time. He is the only manager in franchise history with a postseason series victory, as Texas won both the American League Division Series vs. Tampa Bay and the American League Championship Series against New York. Washington joins Rangers Hall of Famer Johnny Oates as the only managers ever to guide Texas to the postseason.

    Washington didn't have a contract past the 2010 season, but team president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels had made it clear during the season they wanted him back.

    When hired to replaced the fired Buck Showalter in November 2006, Washington got a two-year contract with two one-year options that were both exercised by the team. But Washington had never gotten an extension even as the Rangers improved their win total each season.

    In four seasons as the club's manager, Washington has compiled 331-317 (.511) record. After a 75-87 mark in 2007, his first season, Texas followed by winning 79 games, then 87 and 90 this season.

    He ranks among the club's all-time managerial leaders in wins (third, 331) and games (third, 648). His .511 winning percentage is second-best in club history among Texas mangers with more than two seasons, trailing only Oates (.515). With one game next season, Washington would trail only Bobby Valentine (1186 games) and Oates (983 games) as the longest-tenured managers in Rangers history.

    Late in the 2009 season, Washington thought he had cost himself his first managerial job when he admitted to using cocaine once and failed a drug test.

    Washington offered to resign, but Ryan and Daniels stuck by their manager then, and again last spring when the story became public and he told his players what happened.

    The Rangers had never won a postseason series, or even a home playoff game, before this year. This was only the 17th winning record in 39 seasons since moving to Texas after the franchise started as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961.

    After beating the defending World Series champion New York Yankees in six games in the AL championship series, Texas lost the World Series in five games to the San Francisco Giants. The final game was a 3-1 loss at home Monday night.

    Ryan also plans a contract extension for Daniels, who still has a year left on his deal.

    Daniels hired Washington exactly a year after he had been named the youngest GM in major league history.

    Washington had been an assistant coach for 11 seasons in Oakland, where he had been credited for developing the organization's top infielders. Third baseman Eric Chavez gave one of his six Gold Gloves to Washington.

    When Washington was hired, the Rangers still had the reputation as a slugging high-scoring team with never enough pitching to take advantage of all the runs.

    Things have changed under the influence of Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher who is now a part-owner, and Washington. The Rangers can still slug, but they also run and pitch.

    Texas led the majors with a .276 average and while 162 homers were their lowest total since 1992, they had fewer than 1,000 strikeouts for the first time since 2000. The Rangers had an American League-high 53 sacrifice bunts, stole 123 bases and had runners advance from first to third on singles 122 times, 22 more than the majors' next-best team.

    There is no word on when the team plans to talk with ace pitcher Cliff Lee.