Texas Rangers: Manny Acta

Wash's Wisdom: Gut call on Brandon Snyder

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
12:00
PM CT
BALTIMORE -- Each week we take a look at a decision Rangers manager Ron Washington made and analyze why he made it, and discuss it. Here are a few of them, including his call to put Brandon Snyder in the lineup on Monday:

* Washington said he wasn't even thinking about the fact that Snyder would be playing against his old team Monday. Washington just felt that Snyder could hit left-hander Brian Matusz. So with Adrian Beltre not ready to play third base with his strained left hamstring, Washington opted to go with his gut and play Snyder at third and Michael Young at first. The result was Snyder's career-high six-RBI game in the Rangers' 14-3 win.

A few decisions in Cleveland over the weekend worth noting:

* Washington stuck with Colby Lewis on Friday night to pitch to Johnny Damon despite having left-handed reliever Robbie Ross warmed up and ready. Washington made the decision because Lewis had retired Damon on three previous at-bats. But Damon hit a triple off an 0-1 curveball to give the Indians some breathing room in the seventh inning.

Washington took the blame after the game.

"That one's on me," Washington said. "I was one batter too late."

* The next day, Washington decided to pinch hit Beltre in the 11th inning despite the fact that Beltre's hamstring wasn't healthy enough for him to start. The skipper knew Beltre had a good swing in him. Cleveland manager Manny Acta had reliever Joe Smith intentionally walk Mitch Moreland with two outs to have right-handed pitcher go up against Beltre (who was already on deck, so Acta knew that's who Smith would face).

Beltre, hitting for Alberto Gonzalez, blasted a three-run home run and the Rangers won the game, ending a three-game losing streak. Washington clearly picked the right time in the game to use Beltre.

Ron Washington in the mix for AL honor

November, 16, 2011
11/16/11
8:11
AM CT
Quick, who won last year's Manager of the Year awards?

Exactly. Not the most interesting of the postseason awards. But here's a quick preview of the award that usually goes to the manager whose team surprised the most.

American League

Joe Maddon, Rays: The odds-on favorite to win his second award, following Tampa Bay's miracle playoff run in September. Positives: Kept team positive after 0-6 start, Evan Longoria's April injury and Manny Ramirez's drug test/retirement; overcame two shortstops who hit under .200; mixed and matched guys like Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez for maximum producitivity; rebuilt bullpen thrived; sent up Dan Johnson to pinch-hit in the ninth inning of game No. 162. Negatives: Was that a mullet?

Ron Washington, Rangers: Remember, postseason performance doesn't come into play. Positives: Moved Alexi Ogando to the rotation; got a big year out of Michael Young by moving him around the DH role and the infield; let Mike Napoli eventually take over as the regular catcher. Negatives: Remember, postseason performance doesn't come into play.

Jim Leyland, Tigers: A two-time winner with the Pirates and once with the Tigers, Leyland could be the first manager to win the award four times (the award began in 1983). Positives: Gave the ball to Justin Verlander and stayed out of the way. Negatives: Poor lineup construction.

Manny Acta, Indians: The Indians ended up at 80-82, but it was a positive season as they remained in the playoff race much of the season. Positives: Hung in there despite injuries to Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo; worked in young players like Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall; adeptly handled no-name bullpen to a nice season. Negatives: Couldn't straighten out Fausto Carmona; stuck with Orlando Cabrera way too long in No. 2 hole.

SweetSpot network voting
Joe Maddon: 114 points (21 first-place votes)
Jim Leyland: 32 points
Ron Washington: 28 points (1)
Manny Acta: 20 points (1)
Joe Girardi: 20 points (1)
Terry Francona: 1 point
Mike Scioscia: 1 point

My ballot
1. Joe Maddon
2. Manny Acta
3. Ron Washington

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .327
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 68
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182