Ron Washington's Luck May Be Running Out
On the same token of Washington not being blamed for the Rangers’ slide, can he be given significant credit for the back-to-back pennants in 2010 and 2011 and annual contention since 2009? It’s no secret that Washington was on the verge of being fired in early 2008 when the team began playing well and saved his job.
He’s managed on the edge for years. There’s never been an actual judgment of him necessary other than that the players like him and play hard for him. His failed drug test could have cost him his job and it didn’t. His consecutive World Series losses could have led the Rangers to say that they felt someone else would have gotten them over the hump. The late-season stumbles in 2012 and 2013 could be used as justification for making a change now. He’s running out of time and luck.
This is not to say it’s anything Washington did or didn’t do to lead to the Rangers' struggles. Is it his fault that he’s without one of his big bashers Nelson Cruz, who was suspended for his role in the Biogenesis case? Is it his fault that Lance Berkman has been on and off the shelf and hasn’t produced? Is it his fault that he lost Matt Harrison for the season? That Matt Garza has been mediocre since his acquisition? That they’re severely limited in comparison to the depth the Rangers once had offensively and on the mound?
None of this can be attributed to the manager. But when the team was at the top of the pops in the American League, there was a constant perception that Washington was along for the ride and didn’t really do much of anything that a mannequin in an empty uniform propped up in the corner of the dugout couldn’t do.