The great Evan Grant was kind enough to answer a question in his most recent mailbag.
FADE TO QUESTION…..
Q: Do you think Ron Washington is better suited to manage a team that is young or a team heavy with veterans?
Ryan Appleton, Denton
GRANT: As I write this, Washington has managed 182 games for the Rangers, and I’m not sure his style and strengths have fully emerged. My best guess is that he’s best suited to manage a mixed club where veterans police the clubhouse and rookies follow. Then, as those rookies mature, they’ve learned from the veterans and police the club in the same manner as those guys who came before him.
It would be real simple if you could just put everybody into the “rookie” or “veteran” classification and know they are going to follow a pretty standard set of behavioral rules. They don’t. To manage a team, regardless of basic age makeup, you’ve got to handle 25 personalities. Some guys respond to tough love, some respond to flattery, some respond to simply being left alone to do their job and others are so super-sensitive, they may get offended if the manager shows tough love even if it’s to another player.
I think if the team were playing fundamentally better baseball there wouldn’t be much need to dissect what kind of club Washington would be best suited to manage. But the players have made the kinds of mistakes early on that are just simply unacceptable. Only they can fix that, regardless of what approach Washington takes. These are elite level baseball players playing at a substandard level.
….FADE BACK TO REALITY
For the record, I (Ryan) like Wash, I think he is a GREAT baseball guy, a guy every organization would love to have on their staff.
I think Wash has either, A) lost this team, or B) is in over his head. With this said, the players are not helping him either.
Yes he’s the manager, but he doesn’t get to play for them (I know that’s a cliched response to this argument, but one with substance).
A couple of veterans on this team need to have a closed door meeting and light everyone up, that’s how it works.
After having to deal with Buck Showalter’s rigid style the players wanted a “Player’s Manager,” they got it, and well, now they’re playing like the Bad News Bears minus Kelly Leak.
Now, I do not expect them to win the Division, but I do expect them to improve and build towards the future.
I expect them to play good, fundamental baseball, physical errors happen but you MUST keep mental mishaps to a minimum. These mental errors we see the Rangers making are inexcusable. With mental mistakes, you have to get on your players. Washington style does not suit this. Seems as though Wash is afraid he won’t get invited to the next Hank Blalock Keg-Party.
Time for the pros between the lines to Cowboy up (draft on Saturday, sorry) and play with some heart, but more importantly, some brains.