ARLINGTON, Texas -- "I believe in the game being complete," Ron Washington was saying one afternoon in September. He was sitting in the visiting manager's office at Tropicana Field before a game with the Rays. There was a stack of Winstons on his desk.
"I always told myself if I ever got the chance to be a big league manager," he said, "that I want to play the game completely. I want to pitch. I want to hit. I want to be able to steal bags. I want to be able to bunt, I want to be able to have my players move the runner, I want to be able to squeeze, I want to be able to hit and run, I want to be able to go first to third, I want to look for balls in the dirt. I want to be able to take advantage of every opportunity that's given to you in the game of baseball. I want to be ... complete."
Ron Washington waited a long time to become a major league manager. He was a coach with the Mets and A's for 16 years before the Rangers hired him in 2007. And now here he is, two wins away from a second straight World Series, leading the kind of baseball team he always envisioned: a baseball team that can beat you in every way imaginable.