The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
Texas Rangers finally get the World Series ring that eluded Ron Washington

The Texas Rangers won the first World Series in their 52 year history in dominating fashion over the Arizona Diamondbacks. And if you count their legacy team Washington Senators, who preceded them as a franchise, you could add 11 more years to their previous futility. The only other times the Rangers appeared in the World Series was in 2010 and 2011.

Manager Bruce Bochy deserves much of the credit for Texas’ results. Coming out of retirement, it was reasonable to expect the three-time World Series winner with San Francisco could get the Rangers to break .500 for the first time since 2016.

But the Rangers ended up winning 90 games, 22 more than 2022. Surely no one expected the Rangers to lead the AL West for most of the season. Despite their awful streak between August 16 and September 8, when they won only four games, they still had a chance at a division title on the last day of the season. I attribute Bochy’s experience as responsible for not allowing the Rangers to completely disintegrate toward the end of the season.

So, Bochy did what Ron Washington was unable to do in 2010 and 2011. A New Orleans native, Washington got the Rangers to their first-ever World Series in franchise history in 2010 against the Giants, followed by a second appearance the next year against the Cardinals.

A baseball lifer, Washington got his first managerial job with the Rangers in 2007. Prior to that he had been a major-league coach for the Oakland A’s for 11 seasons. He began coaching and managing at the minor-league level following his retirement as a 20-year player in 1990.

In the 2010 World Series, Washington’s Rangers ran into the San Francisco Giants’ formidable pitching staff that included Tim Linceum, Madison Bumgardner, and Matt Cain. The Rangers were handily beaten in five games.

Determined to avenge their beating the year before, the Rangers’ 2011 high-powered offense (with Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler) teamed with one of the best pitching staffs in the league to face the Cardinals, led by Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman.

The Rangers led with three wins after the first five games. They had the Series-clenching win in hand in Game 6, leading 7-5 going into the ninth inning. The Rangers were only one pitch away from capturing the Series, but David Freese saved the Cardinals with a game-tying two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth.

The Rangers regained the lead in the top of the 10th on a two-run blast by Josh Hamilton. The resilient Cardinals retaliated with two runs to even the score, 9-9, but not before there was a second situation in which the Rangers were only one pitch away from winning. With a two-out, 2-2 count, Lance Berkman delivered a game-tying single.

In the bottom of the 11th, leadoff batter David Freese delivered a walk-off home run to clinch Game 6. The Cardinals went on to win in Game 7, thus denying Washington and the Rangers their chance for World Series glory.

Those Texas teams still hold a place in his heart, although it is broken heart. Washington said, “When things don’t work out the way the way you want them to work out, you got to pick up the pieces and you got to move on.”

“Wash,” as he is affectionately called by his players, did move on. Now 71 years old, he has been a coach for the Atlanta Braves since 2017. He finally got his World Series ring in 2021 as the third-case coach for the Braves.

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