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Ron Washington: Gardenhire worthy winner

Rangers manager Ron Washington was quick to praise Ron Gardenhire, who won AL manager of the year on Wednesday. Washington finished second.

"I respect him a lot," Washington said about Gardenhire. "He has done a good job for a long time in Minnesota. His players play the game the right way. I'm happy for him. He's a good baseball man."

Washington received 10 first-place votes and was on 25 of the 28 ballots. But Gardenhire got 16 first-place votes and was the only manager to appear on all 28 ballots.

"There were good managers and one of the best won the award," Washington said. "My coaching staff did a great job and kept the guys focused. They went out every day and worked hard and did their jobs. I'm proud of my team and what we did this year. We had a vision for what we wanted to do. The guys went out and overcame all the obstacles."

Washington said he was pleased with how his team improved throughout 2010, helping them go into the playoffs with confidence. They ended up winning the first series in franchise history, beating Tampa Bay in the ALDS. The Rangers then beat the Yankees in six games to advance to the World Series before falling to San Francisco.

"The guys played baseball the way I like to see it played," Washington said. "We still have work to do. We didn't win the whole thing and that remains our goal. So we'll get to work and try to get better."