Ron Washington: perseverance personified

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Remember all that trouble Ron Washington had last March regarding the Colombian marching powder? It’s a distant memory now with the Rangers winning. But it’s not just the winning that put a lid on the controversy. It’s Ron Washington himself whose attitude has changed everything say his players and his general manager:

“Guys talk about Michael Young and how you can’t tell whether he went
0-for-4 or 4-for-4 the day before,” general manager Jon Daniels said.
“There is an element in that in Ron. We could give him the [Class A]
Bakersfield team, and he’d still be motivated to find a way to beat the
Angels.

“Whether guys are banged up or struggling at key positions, he’s always
positive, he always has high energy and he always keeps players focused
on the task at hand.”

Read it all, of course, as it’s a nice profile about a guy who was all but given up for dead as a manager a couple of seasons ago and then ran into a P.R. nightmare last spring. I’ve never put too much stock in the old “whatever doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger” thing, but in Ron Washington’s case it’s proving to be true.

Between his success this year and the fact that Mark McGwire hasn’t caused a hint of a ruckus in St. Louis, maybe we’ll all remember not to make too big a stink about whatever controversy we use to warm us up next winter.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.