Rangers manager Ron Washington finished second to Minnesota's Ron Gardenhire in voting for AL manager of the year. Washington earned 10 first-place to Gardenhire's 16. Gardenhire ended up with 108 points to Washington's 81.
Gardenhire was the only manager named on every ballot. Washington was voted on 25 of the 28 ballots. Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon was third in the voting followed by Boston's Terry Francona, Toronto's Cito Gaston (who got one vote and it was a first-place vote) and New York's Joe Girardi, who earned one third-place vote.
Washington was bidding to become the third Rangers manager to win the BBWAA AL manager of the year award, joining Johnny Oates (1996) and Buck Showalter (2004).
"We're not in the postseason; we're not in the World Series without his leadership,” said general manager Jon Daniels after Washington’s new two-year contract was finalized earlier this month. Washington got a new deal that makes him manager through 2012. “What he's done from day one of changing the culture, creating a winning atmosphere, creating a winning expectation has been enormous.
"He has tremendous passion, love for the game, respect for the game, respect of the players. Our team feeds off that. It's no accident that we were a resilient club. That's what he brings.”
In his four seasons so far, Washington’s teams have improved in wins each year. He’s now tied with Showalter for the third-most regular-season games managed (648) in Texas and is only behind Oates and Bobby Valentine. He has 331 regular-season wins, the third most in club history.
Washington is one of four current managers whose teams have increased win totals each of the past three seasons (Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker, San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy and Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel are the others who have done it).
Washington was hired before the 2007 season over two finalists: Trey Hillman and Don Wakamatsu. Hillman was hired as manager of the Kansas City Royals and Wakamatsu as skipper of the Seattle Mariners, but Washington has outlasted both of them.
Washington was Oakland’s third-base coach for 10 seasons and stressed defense, pitching and offensive versatility when he was hired. It took some time for that philosophy to take hold in Texas, where the club was used to bashing the ball all over the park. But as Daniels remade the team, Washington was able to help teach the young players to be more fundamentally sound. And his attitude of coming hard to work every day, but having fun as well, carried over into the clubhouse. The 2010 Rangers were a team in Washington’s image and they played as if they were never out of a game.