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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who's the Rangers' Coach?

Haha...well if you ask me that question. I'm gonna ask you to be more specific. Third base coach? Bench coach? Pitching coach? Hitting coach? Well, I think you're asking about the manager and if you're asking about the manager, you must be asking about Ron Washington....

You see, the manager 'manages' the game. Baseball is a game of situations and tendencies. The manager *should* know what strategy is needed for whatever situation arises. He may have 6 coaches under him at any given time. The manager dictates the entire game. All failures and triumphs are on on him similar to any other sport.

<cough> umm steal second yea!

So, just like any other sport the baseball manager is often the scapegoat; the sacrificial lamb when a season doesn't go as planned. This has always been true, even of hundred year old baseball clubs and fifty year old franchises alike. Managers are all but expendable...

Really, Rangers?

What about our Little Rangers? Lets explore our inauspicious history. Well, our first manager was none other than a legend, Teddy Ballgame...Ted Williams, himself...

For our purposes here though, lets ignore semi-legends like (hold for laughter):

Billy Martin

Pat Corrales

Don Zimmer

Haha...yeah yeah no disrespect to what they contributed to the Rangers, I know.

In reality though it wasn't until late1985 when the Texas Rangers, at least for me, became what they would be known as, for a good part of the next decade. It was in the form of one Robert John "Bobby V" Valentine. He took over a fledgling Rangers team and made them relevant! The Rangers would come back to earth as expected, but to even be in the conversation was a victory for North Texas baseball fans. The Rangers in this time period were perpetually in the middle of the pack never quite sniffing a pennant.

* sidenote: This was, incidentally, around the same time that I became a HUGE fan of the Rangers. My pops LOVED the Rangers. I would watch games with him every night before bed when I was a little kid. These are my favorite memories from my youth.

In 1995, the Rangers employed the next great Manager in Texas Rangers history. The dear, departed Johnny Oates.

The following year he led the previously underachieving Rangers to a franchise record 90 wins and first playoff berth AND first AL West title in franchise history. He would go on to lead the Rangers to 2 more AL West titles while only winning 1 game and never advancing past the hated Yankees in the ALDS. I will now post pics of Johnny just because I know we all miss him...

The Rangers retired his number in 2005.

So after Buck Showalter's underwhelming tenure as Ranger's manager, Jon Daniels fired Showalter and then hires Ron Washington. Currently, you'd have no choice but to say Ron Washington is the most successful Manager in Texas Ranger's history. Easily...

So, Ranger fans. Now that I've given you all the history you could ever ask for, the question begs, who would you want managing your all-time Rangers team? (a topic for another 162+ post)

The contestants and their #s


Oates: 506 wins 3 Division titles
Valentine: 581 wins
Wash: 533 (as of tonight) wins 2 Division titles 2 Pennants

Impress me...

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