|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers and manager Ron Washington agreed Monday to a contract extension through 2015, ending questions about whether Washington would enter the 2014 season under lame-duck status.
Washington, 61, joined the club after the 2006 season following nearly a decade as Oakland's third-base coach. No manager in franchise history has more wins (611), and he's been at the helm during the organization's most successful era -- including two AL West championships and trips to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.
"This was a foregone conclusion, certainly in my mind and in the Rangers' mind going forward, that this is the guy that has been our leader through a lot of tremendous times, our field leader, and it's been a partnership from day one," Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said. "I expect that to continue for a long time to come."
Daniels decided to make a managerial change after his first year as GM, firing Buck Showalter and hiring Washington, a first-time manager. Daniels made the hire believing that Washington could help teach a young club and grow along with it.
"He stands for what we want to be about," Daniels said. "Our players work as hard as anybody else, follow him into battle, take on his personality and competitiveness and his positive mindset."
Washington thanked Daniels and co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson for the opportunity to continue as skipper through 2015.
|The Rangers have extended Ron Washington, the franchise's winningest manager, through 2015.|
"I'm very appreciative for the support that the Texas Rangers have given me since I've been here," Washington said, trying to avoid getting choked up. "All I've ever wanted to do was just go out there and try to be the best I can for the organization and for my players."
Washington is tied for the fourth-longest tenure among active managers as he gets ready to start his eighth season in the dugout. He has talked repeatedly about how the club has stood by him, including after a positive drug test during the 2009 season. News of the test broke in spring training of 2010 and the Rangers stuck with Washington. Later that season, the team was in the World Series for the first time.
He played in 531 major league games over parts of 10 seasons with the Dodgers, Twins, Orioles, Indians and Astros and had a .961 fielding percentage at second base, shortstop and third base.
"Our partnership has been going for quite a while now, and we've had some tremendous years and we look forward to many more years ahead," said Washington, the only manager in Rangers history to lead the team to a postseason series win.
"But more than anything else, I can quit getting questions. It was never an issue for me. My focus was where it was supposed to be -- on the field and in the clubhouse -- and trying to do the best job we can."