Rangers nearing multi-year extension with Ron Washington

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters soon after his club’s loss in the World Series that locking up manager Ron Washington to a multi-year contract was his first offseason priority.  He wasn’t lying.

The two sides will sit down on Thursday and work out the final details of a contract extension, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, and could make an official announcement by the end of the day.

Washington was criticized for making a couple of odd moves during the World Series, but he’s highly respected by the core of the Rangers’ clubhouse and the same can be said for his relationship with the Rangers’ front office.  “Wash,” as Daniels calls him, has a 331-317 record in four years with Texas.

With a solid young lineup and pitching staff, a billion-dollar television deal, and a fruitful farm system, Washington and the Rangers should make a successful pair for many years to come.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.