Rangers Hire No Big Splash
So the Rangers new manager is no other than.....Lou Pinella? No. Dusty Baker? No. Joe Girardi? No. Don Wakamatsu? No. It is none other than Ron Washington.
He has been the Oakland A's third base coach for the last ten years and is now the Texas Rangers manager. He doesn't have a big name. He doesn't have experience. But it doesn't really matter.
I have no idea if he can manage. And freakin' Tom Hicks wouldn't allow to me sit in on the interviews to find out if this guy knows baseball. But he's worth giving a chance. After all, he can't be worse than most his Rangers predecessors, including Buck Showalter. The Rangers managing pantheon is pretty much Johnny Oates and...well...Johnny Oates.
Showalter's biggest weakness that the team aired publicly was communication and lack of optimism. Hicks and GM Jon Daniels seem to think this Washington's strength. My personal opinion of Showalter's biggest weakness is he never gave young players enough of a chance before giving up on them. A few at bats every week or so does not lead to development. The growth of players like Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix, Gerald Laird, and Hank Blalock was stunted by this anti-youth attitude.
Washington, on the other hand, comes from a team that has thrived, at least within the AL West while leaning on young players and giving them every chance to learn. Hopefully he brings that to Texas with him.
So, come April, let the scrutiny begin. Until then, who knows if this guy can manage.