Washington named Rangers’ skipper

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Ron Washington has always been a popular coach with players, stressing communication and letting them be themselves.

Now he will get his chance as a manager with the Texas Rangers, who wanted and needed somebody with those characteristics.

“I am very thrilled. I don’t think I can find words to express it right now,” Washington said by cell phone while on a plane Monday, about to fly from his native New Orleans to Texas for his introduction. “Maybe one day I will find the words.”

Washington, a coach for the Oakland Athletics the past 11 seasons, was chosen over four other candidates to replace Buck Showalter and inherit a team that has had only one winning season since last making the playoffs in 1999.

“Ron is a teacher and winner who brings a great deal of integrity to our organization,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “He is a straightforward, energetic baseball man who we’re excited to have lead the Rangers.”

A news conference was scheduled later Monday for Daniels and owner Tom Hicks to introduce their new manager. Washington’s two-year contract includes two additional option years.

The 54-year-old Washington is the Rangers’ 17th full-time manager and first black manager.

When Showalter was fired after an 80-82 season with three years left on his contract, Daniels said the Rangers needed a “different perspective.”

Washington was also a candidate for the Oakland position.

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