Grant Brisbee wrote the following yesterday in his post, 2011 World Series: Why Ron Washington Drives Me Nuts:
I want to hold him up as an example of what a good manager is, what downtrodden teams should seek out when looking for a new manager. But all I can do is guess. All anyone can do is guess, really. There’s no way to take the anecdotes and good feelings and quantify what Ron Washington does for a team. Is he the reason they’re in the World Series for the second year in a row? Is he the reason they lost the World Series last year? Is he effective in any capacity?
How can anyone argue that he is not a good manager? How many managers have gotten their teams to the World Series 2 years in a row? How many managers have outmanaged Tony La Russa through 5 games of a 7 game series? People say La Russa plays chess while Wash plays checkers. Last night La Russa couldn’t even play telephone. He let his star player put on the most asinine hit and run I’ve ever seen.
Washington has continually made the right moves throughout this series while La Russa has been out-thinking himself left and right. Baseball is a simple game that requires a simple approach with simple solutions. Just because a solution is simple doesn’t mean it is wrong. In fact, in my line of business the simple solution is referred to as “elegant”.
Wash is loyal to his players. Some would argue to a fault, but look at what it does: Players don’t worry about making mistakes. They just go out and execute. Does that mean they don’t make mistakes? Of course not. All players make mistakes. All managers make mistakes. I don’t always agree with what Wash does, but he seems to be right a lot more often than I am.
Wash teaches his players to play the game as it presents itself on any given day. He focuses on one game at a time, and leaving past games in the past. Because of this the Rangers were able to rebound from a 16-7 loss with a 4-0 shutout and haven’t lost back to back games in over two months. As long as they can keep that up they will win their first World Series this week. He has won as many playoff games this year as the team had won in it’s entire history, including last year’s World Series run.
Does anyone else find it ridiculous that the manager of the 2 time defending AL champs feels like he has to say “I’m not as dumb, either, as people think I am”?
Wash may not be as polished as other managers out there. He may not talk the way you do. The fact is he is a great manager who knows how to push the right buttons with his player.