The Texas Rangers and manager Ron Washington agreed to a two-year extension Monday, putting the skipper under contract through 2014.
Washington, who turns 60 in April, was heading into the final season of his deal, which was signed just after the Rangers went to the first of their back-to-back World Series trips in 2010.
"I knew that through time things would fall into place," Washington said Monday after getting another two-year contract extension. "And things have certainly done that."
Washington has helped the Rangers to consecutive American League pennants and will again manage the AL All-Star team when the game is played in Kansas City in 2012. Under Washington's on-field leadership, the Rangers not only advanced to their first World Series in franchise history, but won their first playoff series, beating the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS in 2010.
"When Wash joined us, he came in right as we were starting a rebuilding program," general manager Jon Daniels said. "It was something he embraced whole-heartedly. Some guys might not have wanted to sign up for a long-term program, but he dove right in.
"He's a teacher and a motivator and he's been a key guy the whole way through. He speaks to what we're about. He's the perfect guy to run our club."
Washington's original contract was a two-year deal with club options for 2009 and 2010 that were both exercised.
Daniels hired Washington prior to the 2007 season, and the Rangers have increased their win total in each of Washington's five seasons. Texas was fourth in the AL West in his first season and four games under .500 in 2008. But the club was 12 games over .500 in 2009 and was starting to put the pieces together after finishing second in the AL West. The Rangers won 90 games in 2010 and a club-record 96 in 2011.
"I think what causes improvement is dealing with the fact that you don't know everything. I always try to tell that to my players," Washington said. "I'm open-minded. I'm willing to learn and willing to say I'm wrong. That's the way I was brought up.
"I've gained a lot of experience in this game from a lot of people and I try to use those experiences to get better. I'm no different than a player. That's what we expect from players and I expect it from myself."
Washington has 427 regular-season wins and has managed in 810 games, third-most in club history behind Johnny Oates (506 wins in 983 games) and Bobby Valentine (581 wins in 1,186 games).
He has placed in the AL manager of the year voting for three consecutive seasons (tied for fourth in 2009, second in 2010, third in 2011) and now has the sixth-longest tenure of any manager in the big leagues.
"Each year comes and goes and I get a little better at dealing with adversity in the game of baseball, and there's a lot of it," Washington said. "I never think that I've got it figured out."
Team president Nolan Ryan, Daniels and the Rangers stuck with Washington late in the 2009 season after he admitted to using cocaine once. They didn't change their stance when that revelation became public during spring training in 2010, the season that ended with the team's first World Series.
Daniels and Ryan also avoided making a managerial change when the Rangers got off to slow starts in 2008 and 2009, when they recovered both seasons to finish second in the AL West. They hadn't been that high in the standings since winning their 1999 AL West title.
"I never doubted the fact that I know this game of baseball, and because I'm not afraid to step up to the plate and say maybe I made a mistake, it helps you continue to grow," Washington said.
"Jon Daniels' patience and his trust have given us an opportunity to be where we are and become more or less a model organization," he said. "There's a lot of people out there that wish they could model themselves after the Texas Rangers. I don't think you could have said that five years ago."
Washington joined the Rangers after spending 11 seasons as a coach with the Oakland A's. He spent 10 of those seasons as the third-base coach as the A's made five trips to the playoffs, including an ALCS appearance in 2006.
Only five active managers have been with their current teams longer than Washington. He trails Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels, Ron Gardenhire in Minnesota, Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia, Jim Leyland in Detroit and Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay.
Washington played in 564 career big league games and hit .261 with 20 homers and 146 RBIs in all or parts of 10 seasons in the majors (with the Dodgers, Twins, Orioles, Indians and Astros). He played mainly at shortstop, though spent time at first base, third base and even four games in the outfield.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.