In the midst of an abysmal season for the Texas Rangers, things just got much worse for the franchise. Ron Washington, the team's manager since the 2007 season, has reportedly resigned from the franchise.
Bob Dutton of The News Tribune reported the news Friday afternoon:
Bob Dutton @TNT_Mariners
Ron Washington just resigned as #Rangers manager.2014-9-5 19:49:54
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram provided background information on the matter:
Jeff Wilson @JeffWilson_FWST
#Rangers manager Ron Washington has resigned, the club announces, to attend to personal matters.2014-9-5 19:50:14
During Washington's time in Texas, the Rangers went 664-611 and won the American League pennant twice, coming up short in the World Series both times. He was also the All-Star Game manager during both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Today, I have submitted my resignation from the job I love – managing the Rangers – in order to devote my full attention to addressing an off-the-field personal matter. As painful as it is, stepping away from the game is what's best for me and my family.
This is in no way related to the disappointing performance of the team this season. We were already discussing 2015 and looking forward to getting the Rangers back to postseason contention.
I deeply regret that I've let down the Rangers organization and our great fans. Over the past eight seasons, it's been a privilege to be part of some of the best years in club history and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I've had here, and for the great management, players, and coaches who have made our time here a success. Thank you for respecting my privacy.
Jesse Spector of Sporting News offered his take on the resignation:
Jesse Spector 📎 @jessespector
Surprised to see Ron Washington leave the Rangers job. Hope all of his personal stuff gets worked out and he’s back in baseball soon.2014-9-5 19:53:36
As for his replacement, bench coach Tim Bogar will take over managerial duties for now, per Jim Bowden of ESPN:
Jim Bowden @JimBowden_ESPN
#Rangers have announced that Manager Ron Washington has resigned as Manager of the team. Tim Bogar has been named interim Manager2014-9-5 19:53:04
In eight seasons with the Rangers, Washington became the franchise's all-time leader in regular-season wins and games managed. Though he was unable to win either of the World Series, Washington was the only manager to win an AL pennant in Rangers history.
While he was able to turn the franchise around, the Rangers have fallen apart due to countless injuries this season. After Washington's announcement, Sullivan put the overall season in perspective:
TR Sullivan @Sullivan_Ranger
Ron Washington resigns for personal reasons... It is official, end of discussion: 2014: worst season in Rangers history...Nothing else close2014-9-5 20:10:33
Others like Ray Ratto of CSN and Phil Rogers of MLB.com noted how great of a person Washington has been as a manager:
Ray Ratto @RattoNBCS
Ron Washington is one of those managers who will look better when you see what the next two Rangers managers do.2014-9-5 19:59:13
Phil Rogers @philgrogers
Terrible news for us all in Ron Washington's resignation. He's a good man and has been good for baseball. Thoughts w/him.2014-9-5 20:06:17
Phil Rogers @philgrogers
Whatever the issue with Ron Washington, it was sudden. He had accepted job managing MLB All-Stars in Japan on November tour.2014-9-5 20:23:56
Back in 2010, it was reported that Washington tested positive for cocaine during the previous season. The manager recovered from that scandal by leading the team to successful seasons, and his resignation was not due to the previous failed drug test.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels confirmed that news, per Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News:
Evan Grant @Evan_P_Grant
Jon Daniels says this was not drug related.2014-9-5 20:35:09
Much about the situation is still unknown, but it comes as a shock to many fellow managers around the game. The Rangers have severely underachieved this season, for obvious reasons, but Washington had led the team to four consecutive 90-win seasons from 2010-13.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes the reaction from managers:
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
Ron Washington has fellow managers scratching their head, stunned by his resignation2014-9-5 20:20:01
Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants was also shocked by the decision, via Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Henry Schulman @hankschulman
Bochy surprises to hear about R-Wash resignation. Had just talked to him two days ago and got no hint it was coming. #sfgiants2014-9-5 20:16:56
Though the current season has been underwhelming, the move was not due to any questions about his future with the team.
Daniels spoke on that matter, per Wilson:
Jeff Wilson @JeffWilson_FWST
Jon Daniels: "It was very clear with Ron that we were planning to have him be our manager in 2015." #Rangers2014-9-5 20:32:23
The 62-year-old Washington leaves behind a team mired in a 53-87 season, but one with plenty of promise for the future. While the Rangers are struggling this year, they have talent in the franchise to build around with or without Washington.
Competing in a difficult AL West that includes the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, the road ahead will be difficult. Washington was able to lead the franchise to several successful seasons, but the division has drastically improved.
With Prince Fielder returning next season from a neck injury that has sidelined him for most of 2014, the team could take a completely different shape. But without Washington at the helm, there's no telling what the leadership around the franchise will look like.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.