When it was first announced that Ron Washington was going to be our new skipper, I was very excited based on his reputation. Now, after getting to know him better, I'm even more confident that bringing him here was a great move for our club.

I knew from Day One he would bring that great attitude -- that positive attitude -- that we need. That's so important. We have a team here this year that has a chance to do some great things. We also have a leader who expects great things.

Prior to coming here, he was a coach with Oakland. Everyone in the A's organization seemed to love him. All of his players respected him and they were good friends with him. When Hurricane Katrina struck in his native Louisiana and there was a lot of damage, I know so many of his players stepped up. To me, that says a lot about his impact on the players.

Having now been around Wash for a few months, I just love his enthusiasm. He has so much energy and he likes to go out there and work with the guys, which is great to see from a manager. He goes out there and throws batting practice, hits groundballs and runs the bases with us. I just love what he brings, and Spring Training was a good example of that.

His greatest strength is probably the ability to communicate. He always lets you know what's going on, where you stand and what his plans are. I think that every player can respect that about a manager. Straight feedback goes a long way in this game.

Another thing Wash has going for him is that he also played the game at this level. I haven't really checked his stats yet but maybe I'll go online and see just what kind of player he was as a big leaguer.

Bottom line, every player likes to hear that they might get to play for a so-called "players manager." Every player wants to know that their manager is on their side. I think that's exactly what we have here with Wash.

Mark Teixeira has not missed a game with Texas since May 20, 2004. He entered this season having played in 446 consecutive regular season games, the second-longest streak in club history (behind Alex Rodriguez) and the second-longest active streak in the Major Leagues (Miguel Tejada entered 2007 with a streak of 1,080 games played). Washington, who played in 564 games in the Majors, served as Oakland's third base coach the last 10 years.