Congratulations to Ron Washington, for being named the next manager of a team that wins the World Series the year after Buck Showalter is fired.
And congratulations to the Texas Rangers, for a well-played hand. They pushed all-in before the flop, making their job offer before Oakland had a chance to finish their interviewing. Even if Billy Beane had wanted to hire Washington, the A's were too late on the trigger.
It's a good move for Texas. The Rangers have been stuck in mediocrity, and they need to take some chances. Washington seems to me like the kind of person who will either strike out or hit a home run at the next level. He'll either be highly ineffective or a genius. Texas is just the kind of team that should take chances on a person like that. They need someone with the potential to lift them out of their stagnation. A safe, average manager isn't going to make a difference for them.
It's probably the perfect fit for Washington. From a philosophical standpoint, Washington didn't seem to be a great match to work with Billy Beane's micromanaging. He'll probably get more of a free hand to be himself in Texas. Texas has some rebuilding to do, and Washington is a good teacher. Plus, from a personal standpoint, Washington is now working much closer to his Louisiana home. I'm very happy for the guy; he has earned and deserves this opportunity.
For the A's, losing Washington at third base and as infield coach probably hurts more than losing him as a potential manager. Fans of most teams complain constantly about their third base coach, but you never heard that from A's fans. Seriously, Washington may have been the best third base coach ever. Going from Washington to whoever replaces him will be about as big a drop in talent as going from Mark Ellis to D'Angelo Jimenez. Every time the A's get a runner thrown out on the bases next year, I will feel the pain.