Howard Bryant recently wrote a lengthy piece on Rangers manager Ron Washington for espn.com. The article delves into the Washington's conundrum of managing a team currently in first place (not for long!) without any job security. As Bryant explains:
Yet for each positive, Washington is managing without a net, baseball's most ferocious lame duck. He does not have a contract after this season, and was very nearly fired last season by the team president -- one Mr. Nolan Ryan -- after the Rangers started the season woefully at 7-16. Even going 72-67 the rest of the way did not convince Ryan that Washington merited security.
Instead, the Rangers announced they would not yet exercise Washington's option to manage in 2010, saying it was not a top club priority...
Ouch. Bryant goes on to note Ryan's increased influence on how the Rangers are managed such as forcing Washington to fire bench-coach Art Howe last year and, as we all know, demanded the starting pitchers are giving larger pitch counts. Bryant also notes Ryan's very candid sentiments, for a front-office figurehead, on his lack of confidence in Washington.
I don't want to lean on this as a sign that the Rangers will implode but it certainly seems to be an advantage that goes to us. Admittedly I am not well-versed in how well teams succeed with inner-organization turmoil but this can't be a good thing for the Rangers. Furthermore, I don't know how much influence this has on the players and their performance on the field but it certainly isn't something that is going to have a positive effect. Of course, no matter the effect, the Angels still have to win games to beat them, no matter how organized our FO is and how screwed up theirs is.
Also, after reading the article, it seems apparent that unless Texas has a tremendous year, as in going to the WS, that Washington will not be there next year. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ryan as head coach next year.
I highly suggest reading the article for all you baseball geeks out there. I think Bryant does a good job profiling Washington plus its good to "Know thy enemy" and what not...