Ron Washington is the new manager of Your Texas Rangers. He'll be introduced during a press conference today.

Washington Monument

Well, not yet. For now, it's simply Washington, manager. Before we roast the Cowboys for all they do wrong, let's take a minute to congratulate--surprise!--Your Texas Rangers. Instead of half-assing his way through a list of retreads, Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels conducted a real, live search and came away with a fantastic hire: Ron Washington.

Fantastic because he hasn't previously been poisoned by owner Tom Hicks or former manager Buck Showalter. Fantastic because he has a fresh perspective, coming from Oakland and having never managed above Class A. Fantastic because his reputation is that of a positive communicator in the clubhouse. Bravo.

Washington, 54, is expected to sign a two-year contract and be formally introduced at a press conference this afternoon. I'll be shocked if the Rangers don't at least improve on last year's 80-82 record. Washington was groomed in an environment that not only expected but demanded success. Oakland fired manager Ken Macha after this season despite a 93-69 record and a 368-280 four-year ledger. Washington pulls off those numbers in Arlington, and not only will he not be fired, he'll be fitted for a monument. --Richie Whitt

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