Ron Washington can call as many bunts as he wants for at least the next two MLB seasons now that he and the Texas Rangers have agreed to a contract extension.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, via the Star-Telegram's Drew Davison, announced a one-year contract extension for Washington, securing him through the 2015 season.
How would you grade this move by the Rangers?
Washington made headlines over the last couple of days, via the Star-Telegram's Gil Lebreton, with his defense of the often-loathed bunting and his desire to shove advanced analytics out the door. But on Monday, the news went from controversial to encouraging with this announcement.
“I’m very appreciative for the support that the Texas Rangers have given me since I’ve been here,” Washington said, via Davison. “All I ever wanted to do was to go out there and be the best I can for the organization and the players.”
In seven seasons, Washington has led the Rangers to a combined record of 611-524 (.538). The ballclub has won at least 90 games in four consecutive seasons and advanced to the World Series in both 2010 and 2011.
Washington has finished in the top five in AL Manger of the Year voting three times, and according to Davison, the 611 wins during his seven-year reign are fourth most in the MLB during that span.
It's easy to see why Daniels felt this was such an easy decision:
I thought this was a foregone conclusion, this guy has been our leader through a lot of tremendous times. You’re talking about a tenured veteran guy who this team believes in and followed in some big-time battles. Lame-duck? I don’t really buy into that. That wasn’t really our thought process.
Washington's view toward bunting and his refusal to accept new-age thinking or analysis has undoubtedly rubbed some, such as ESPN's Keith Law, the wrong way:
But the Rangers organization doesn't seem to mind, as the franchise has never enjoyed the kind of success it has during Washington's tenure. Wins talk, and Washington—no matter his methods—is delivering a lot of them.
So, while it's not likely that the polarizing views toward the 61-year-old will come to an end anytime soon (especially if he keeps doing things like this), you can bet that Washington and the Rangers couldn't care less.
Now that any potential contract distractions are out of the way for the foreseeable future, Washington can concentrate on delivering the same kind of success as the last four years.