It was Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels who hired Ron Washington, back when the GM had just completed his first season on the job and wanted a new voice in the clubhouse. He hired a seasoned coach without any managerial experience, taking a risk that Washington could lead by example, teach the young team and help push them into contention as the club got better.
Back-to-back World Series appearances shows that Daniels certainly got what he wanted.
Washington is thankful for the opportunity, not to mention how the two have established a bond that's helped the manager through the club's struggles in early 2008 that had some questioning if he could do the job and his drug admission during spring training 2010.
Washington has thrived under Daniels' structure, which the manager says stresses accountability while trusting those on the management team and coaching staff.
"He allows you to be who you are, allows you to give your say and then he makes his decision," Washington said. "He’s a friend, an honest friend and I couldn’t have gotten into a better situation in the game of baseball in becoming manager of the Texas Rangers. I’ve always said when I was interviewing for jobs that it [would] take a GM to convince an owner that [I'm] the man to lead the team. That’s what happened to me.
"There’s nothing he can’t say and there’s nothing he wouldn’t say. You always know where he stands. That's what you want."
Daniels is certainly pleased with how Washington has grown with the Rangers. And with the skipper under contract to manage through 2014, Daniels once again has made only one managerial hiring in his career -- a tribute to the team's success and how well Washington as jelled with the organization.
"There's a lot of mutual respect," Daniels said. "We've had a lot of stability. Don Welke (special assistant to the GM, scouting) said that to be successful, you need both stability and ability. We've accomplished that. Now we have a new challenge and we’ve got to keep getting better. A lot of us in this organization have grown together. Everyone is committed to what we're about. We take the good with the bad and we trust each other."