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You Snooze, You Lose: Washington Leaves
2006-11-06 08:25
by Ken Arneson

I guess Texas GM Jon Daniels liked what he saw in Ron Washington's eyes.

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.

2006-11-06 09:34:52
1.   Bluebleeder87
we felt the pain all year long with our 3rd base coach in L.A.
2006-11-06 10:33:13
2.   Eric Enders
That sound you just heard? It was a bloodcurling scream from Eric Chavez.
2006-11-06 10:35:30
3.   Eric Enders
"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."

The AP article I read says the Rangers granted the A's permission to talk to Wakamatsu, but only if he wasn't the Rangers' choice as manager. Wouldn't the A's, if they really wanted to hire Washington, have done the same thing?

2006-11-06 10:40:37
4.   Bluebleeder87
He'll either be highly ineffective or a genius.

from what i've read he's been a manager in the minors so i think he learned a thing or two on what to do & what not to do to be respected plus like you said Ken Arneson his baseball insticts are very good i'm sure he'll be just fine as a manager

2006-11-06 10:56:25
5.   D4P
I recently took a look at the Rangers' history, and it's quite remarkable.

Counting their years as the Washington Senators (yet another Texas-Washington connection!), they have

1. 46 seasons
2. 16 winning seasons
3. 3 division championships
4. 3 post-season appearances
5. A combined 1-9 post-season record, all against the Yankees

2006-11-06 11:15:36
6.   Ken Arneson
5 Didn't think of that. I went to a game once in Oakland where the Rangers wore the old Senators' road uniforms. (ARod hit a homer or two, IIRC.) If Washington had been their manager then, he would have had his name on both the front and back of his uniform!
2006-11-06 11:22:26
7.   Greg Brock
Just think of the possiblities if Frank Los Angeles of Anaheim had gotten the Angels job.
2006-11-06 11:25:03
8.   Eric Enders
It might still happen with Washington, so maybe we should check. Has anyone ever worn a jersey with the same name on the front and back?
2006-11-06 11:26:15
9.   D4P
Seems like "Washington" and "Houston" are the most likely candidates
2006-11-06 11:52:26
10.   Ken Arneson
I checked Washington, Houston, Boston, and Cleveland, and none of the players with those last names played for their namesake. Ron Washington played for Minnesota, but too late.
2006-11-06 11:54:10
11.   Philip Michaels
9 Hopefully, the Red Sox will consider fourth outfielder Daryl Boston for their next managerial opening.

And I'm guessing Reggie Cleveland would be happy to return the Indians' calls.

2006-11-06 12:20:48
12.   Eric Enders
I checked all the teams and it's never happened. However, Jim York pitched the final game of his career in 1976 wearing his surname on the front of his Yankees jersey, but not on the back.

Let us all hope Jason Bay gets traded to the Devil Rays.

2006-11-06 12:23:49
13.   Philip Michaels
12 Or that Frank Francisco becomes a Giant.

And gets elevated to sainthood.

(Wrong sport, but I desperately wish to see Tampa Bay Lightning star Martin St. Louis traded to the Blues.)

2006-11-06 12:31:36
14.   Ken Arneson
12 Or to the A's, when they change their name after their move to Fremont.

13 That'll never happen. He and Billy Beane are damned for eternity for violating the "Thou shalt not throw thy chair" commandment.

2006-11-06 12:37:50
15.   Ken Arneson
Add this little known fact: before Fremont was incorporated, it was called "Washington Township".

Washington Township Athletics. Hey, I kinda like the sound of that.

Actually, the area of Fremont where the A's are (almost certainly) moving is in a district called "Warm Springs."

Warm Springs Athletics. Nah, it doesn't have the same retro feel as Washington Township Athletics.

2006-11-06 12:52:29
16.   jakewoods
Beane was never going to give Washington the job. He's not a moneyball type GM. Read the book and you will see.
2006-11-06 14:48:30
17.   Greg Brock
We have a great third base coach down here with the Dodgers. Sure, losing Rich Donnelly would hurt, but I know you guys are in a bad spot, and need a quality windmill over there at third.

Seriously, take him...He's all yours.

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