Rangers manager Ron Washington runs with his second chance

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/baseball/rangers/stories/1014…

Rangers manager Ron Washington knows his lot in life is as a baseball lifer, though a mistake more than a year ago almost cost him his job and damaged his image in the game.

Washington doesn’t hide from his positive test for cocaine in July 2009, after which he offered to resign. Rangers brass considered dismissing him but thought better of it.

Team president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels saw a manager who had improved and a team that had improved with him.

Michael Young , the team’s leader, said it was important to have Washington back.

“We wanted the right people in place going forward. And that started with Wash,” Young said. “As a matter of fact, it starts and ends with Wash. He’s the manager, he makes the important decisions. He’s the guy that has to have the respect in our clubhouse. And he has had it for a long time now. We couldn’t be happier that he is our manager.”

Washington is making news now for a different reason: He’s the manager of the AL West champions and will take the Rangers into their first AL Championship Series on Friday night against the New York Yankees .

The Rangers are planning to give Washington a contract extension once their postseason run ends. He hasn’t forgotten the support that Ryan and Daniels showed.

 

“Those people didn’t back off that love just because of what I did,” he said. “They didn’t judge me. They just supported me. My players supported me. I just wanted to give them everything I had in the way of knowledge and the way of experience.”

Washington is a candidate for the AL Manager of the Year, though Minnesota skipper Ron Gardenhire is considered the front-runner. That’s fine by Washington, who isn’t much of a self-promoter.

So when Friday arrives, Washington won’t be looking for the spotlight.

“I don’t look for that type of praise,” he said. “I’m very solid in who I am and what I’m about, and anyone that knows me in the game of baseball knows what Ron Washington is about.”

While he’s not boasting about the job he has done this year, he can’t say enough about the Rangers’ organization and the players and staff he oversees.

“I’m so proud of the organization, and more than anything I’m proud the organization accepted me for who Ron Washington is and they didn’t judge me,” Washington said. “They just tried to support me. I’m sitting here humbled. I’m very pleased. I’m so very proud of my team. I really am.”

 

 

 

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