Rangers lock up Washington through 2014
Skipper has managed back-to-back AL champions
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington, after leading his team to a second straight American League pennant and a club record 96 wins, has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension.Washington, who is entering his sixth season as the Rangers manager, is now signed through 2014. The only AL manager with more job security than Washington is Mike Scioscia, who is signed with the Angels through 2018. "It's a very happy day for all the Rangers," general manager Jon Daniels said. "You can't find a manager more beloved in the community and the organization than Ron. He has been a huge part of our success." "I'm happy for Wash," infielder Michael Young said. "He deserves it. He's a lifelong baseball man and knows everything we go through. He's loyal, honest and a good communicator. We're a better team with him as our manager."
Washington was hired by Daniels after the 2006 season and is now the third-longest-tenured manager in Rangers history with 810 games. He trails Bobby Valentine, who managed the Rangers for 1,186 games from 1985-92, and Johnny Oates, who managed them for 983 games in 1995-2001.The Rangers are 427-383 under Washington and have won two straight American League pennants. Both times they ended up losing in the World Series, to the Giants in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011. Washington said "trust, opportunity and support," are what comes to mind when he looks back on his first five years with the Rangers. "J.D. took a chance, looking back five years ago, on a novice manager," Washington said. "He believed I could be the guy who could take this organization in the right direction. We've achieved that, but most importantly we've achieved that as a family and as a solid unit. I don't think our success could have happened without the whole organization being a part of it." The Rangers were 75-87 under Washington in his first year and increased their win totals in each of the next four seasons. His .527 winning percentage is the highest for a Rangers manager with at least two full seasons. He was second in the voting for AL Manager of the Year in 2010 and third in '11. "I think, when Wash joined us, he came in right as we were starting a rebuilding program and it was something he embraced wholeheartedly," Daniels said. "This was his first opportunity to manage at the big league level, and some guys might not have wanted to sign on to a long-term project like that. "Our guys love playing for this manager. You see it every day and a national-baseball audience saw it the last two Octobers. A team takes on the personality of its manager. That's the most important thing for me and our guys really respond to him." Washington said he continues to get better as a manager. "I think what causes that improvement is dealing with the fact that you don't know everything," Washington said. "I tell that to my players. I'm open-minded and willing to learn. That's the way I was brought up and the way I am now. I've gained a lot of experience and I try to use those experiences on the field. The longer I'm a manager, the better I'm going to be. As each year comes and goes, the better I'm going to be." Only five other managers have been with their current team longer than Washington: Scioscia, Ron Gardenhire of the Twins, Charlie Manuel of the Phillies, Jim Leyland of the Tigers and Joe Maddon of the Rays. Washington will be surrounded with the same coaching staff that finished last season: pitching coach Mike Maddux, bench coach Jackie Moore, outfield coach Gary Pettis, third-base coach Dave Anderson, bullpen coach Andy Hawkins and hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.