- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ron Washington seems to be in perpetual motion, even while standing in the Texas Rangers dugout.

The manager waves his arms wildly or slaps his hands against the railing. He furiously pumps his feet up and down, his running in place mimicking the base runners.

There are high-fives with players and the big smile when something good happens. There are hugs with bench coach Jackie Moore at the end of each victory, the latest coming in the World Series.

“It’s true, it’s pure. It’s not a show,” said Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher and Rangers president. “He gets so wrapped up into the game and is so in tune to what’s happening that that’s just him and his personality reacting to the situation, and the joy that those things bring to him shows.”

And there has been plenty of that with the two-time Americn League champion Rangers.

Playing deep into another October has again put Washington’s pure emotion and energy on display for a large audience.

“What you see is what I am. … When my guys do something good out there, I’m just as excited about it as they are, and I want them to know that,” Washington said. “I’m not trying to be something to prove to somebody that I’m emotional. That’s me.”

Washington’s arms may have never been as still in the dugout as they were just before Game 4 of the World Series, when the manager placed both of his hands on the shoulders of Derek Holland.

Another genuine side of Washington is the deep affection for his players and the confidence he has in them.

The bills of their caps butted together as Washington, in a moment like a father sharing something with his son, offered words of encouragement. The young pitcher looked him straight in the eye and responded affirmatively.

Washington finished by tapping Holland on the face, and the pitcher returned a pat to the manager’s chest on the way to the mound.

Holland, who hadn’t made it past the fifth inning in either of his two AL championship series starts, then allowed only two hits while pitching into the ninth inning of a 4-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals that evened the series.

Washington, 59, was a skinny middle infielder who had more than twice as many games in the minors than the majors in 20 seasons as a professional player. He then spent four years as a minor league coach before 11 seasons as an assistant in Oakland, the last 10 as the third-base coach.

The Rangers won 75 games in Washington’s first season as a manager and have increased their victory total each year. They set a franchise record with 96 this regular season, his fifth.

Still, there were a couple of times when his managerial future appeared bleak.

Soon after Ryan became team president in 2008, only Washington’s second season, the Rangers were 8-16 and matched their worst start since moving to Texas in 1972. Washington’s birthday was around the same time, which may have prevented a managerial change then before the team started playing better.

Then late during the 2009 season, Washington offered to resign after admitting to using cocaine once and failing a drug test. Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels stuck by Washington then, and again during spring training in 2010 when the story became public.

“I almost put myself in position where I didn’t almost have a job,” Washington said before this year’s World Series. “And the Texas Rangers stood behind me, so I’m very lucky.”

Washington has since helped orchestrate two of the most successful seasons for the franchise that began as the expansion Washington Senators in 1961 and moved to Texas for the 1972 season.

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