Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News asked Ron Washington why he continues to play Michael Young even though:
Michael Young began Tuesday tied for last among 144 major league qualifiers in the advanced statistical index of Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which tries to gauge a players overall contribution and his value.
Washington’s response? “He’s going to do something grand for us.”
This is one of the several reasons I don’t think Ron Washington is a good manager. There’s definitely an argument to be made for keeping Young in, or out, of the lineup. But, it’s not, “He’s going to do something grand…” At some point, you have to be willing to bench a guy. I don’t care who they are and what they’ve contributed to the team, as a manager, you have to have the marbles to sit a veteran player down who isn’t performing well. Ron Washington doesn’t have those marbles. He wouldn’t do it with Hamilton, he wouldn’t do it with Napoli, he wouldn’t do it with Cruz, and he won’t do it with Young.
Personally, I think that Michael Young should still be in the lineup. Unless the Rangers decide to bring up Jurickson Profar, I’m not sure there’s really a better option, and his versatility allows him to fill defensive spots depending on who Wash wants in the lineup each night. But, that’s not the point. The point is, Washington is too loyal. A manager has to balance the line between clubhouse buddy and “boss” of the team. Wash does a good job at the buddy role, but is not good at the boss role. The Rangers have been successful because they are an incredibly talented team who play well together. I don’t think it’s because Ron Washington is an effective manager.