Ron Washington

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Ron Washington
Ron Washington in April 2011.jpg
Managing a Rangers game during the 2011 season
Shortstop / Manager
Born: (1952-04-29) April 29, 1952 (age 62)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 10, 1977 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
July 7, 1989 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
(through September 18, 2014)
Batting average .261
Home runs 20
Runs batted in 146
Games managed 1,275
Win–loss record 664-611
Winning % .521
Teams

As player

As coach

As manager

Ronald Washington (born April 29, 1952) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and a former manager of the Texas Rangers.[1] Prior to managing the Rangers, Washington coached in the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics organizations.

Playing career[edit]

Washington was signed by the Kansas City Royals on July 17, 1970. He spent the next ten seasons in the minor leagues with three different organizations (Royals, Mets, and Dodgers). He earned a brief September callup with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 hitting .368 (7 for 19). He wouldn't return to the major league level until 1981 with the Minnesota Twins where he would remain until 1986. He then played one season each for the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Houston Astros before retiring from Triple-A Oklahoma City in 1990. He was a middle infielder for most of his career. On May 28, 1988, while playing for the Indians, Washington broke up Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Odell Jones' no-hit bid after 8 and 1/3 innings with a pinch-hit single.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Following his retirement as a player, Washington worked in the New York Mets organization for five years. After being hired as the Oakland Athletics first base coach in 1996 under his former Astros manager Art Howe, Washington then served as infield and third base coach for the A's between 1997 and 2006. As infield coach Washington has been credited for developing much of the A's young infield talent in the last decade, including six-time Gold Glover Eric Chavez, and former MVP and A's shortstop Miguel Tejada. In 2004, Chavez expressed his appreciation by giving Washington one of his Gold Glove trophies, signed "Wash, not without you."[3]

Washington plays a significant role in the events of the book Moneyball, a book detailing how the A's have been successful despite a small budget. Washington is shown in a positive light for the way he trained Scott Hatteberg to field first base for the first time in his career. Washington is also, however, portrayed as too old-fashioned and traditional in his lack of acceptance of general manager Billy Beane's sabermetric strategies. He was portrayed in the film adaptation of the book by Brent Jennings. Washington parodied his character in Moneyball during a July 2014 Texas Rangers commercial in which he repeated the line "It's incredibly hard".

Manager[edit]

On November 6, 2006, the Texas Rangers announced that Washington had accepted their offer to manage the team[4] replacing Buck Showalter, who was fired a month earlier. Washington beat out four other candidates for the job: Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, then New York Mets third base coach Manny Acta, Nippon Ham Fighters manager Trey Hillman[5] and former Rangers catcher John Russell.[6]

At the beginning of the 2007 season, it was rumored that there was a rift between Washington and Rangers star Mark Teixeira. Asked about it, Washington responded,

A lot of times we make three outs on four or five pitches... I just can't see that late in the game when you're four or five runs down. You're at the point where the starter is out of the game, you're in the middle (of the bullpen), these are the guys you want to get to. I've never asked him (Teixeira) to do it when the closer is in the game. But the middle guys, you want to make 'em throw... He feels like he's going to only get one pitch in that type of situation to do something with. He wants to take advantage of it. I've got no problem with that. But can you guarantee with that one pitch that you're going to do something with it? I don't think any ballplayer on earth can guarantee that. You might pop it up, miss it, roll over it, jam yourself. Then you make one out on one pitch. I want to see him get a pitchers' strike right there.[7]

Ron Washington in 2007

Teixeira was traded to the Atlanta Braves in July 2007 and had been rumored to have been on the trading block before reports of tensions with Washington, as his agent, Scott Boras, had refused to negotiate a contract extension beyond the 2008 season. Reports also suggested tensions between Washington and catcher Gerald Laird. Questioned about the rumors, Washington conceded that the pressure he put on Laird was "a lot to put on a young kid... (But) that's what we've got. He's got to grow up fast."[8]

On March 17, 2010, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported that Washington tested positive for cocaine during the 2009 season and has acknowledged using cocaine.[9]

In 2010, Washington became the second manager of the Rangers franchise (after Johnny Oates) to take his team to the postseason. On October 12, 2010, Washington became the first manager in franchise history to win a playoff series, with a 3–2 victory in the ALDS over the Tampa Bay Rays. On October 22, 2010, Washington's Rangers defeated the New York Yankees in the ALCS in six games, to advance to their first World Series in franchise history, before losing to the San Francisco Giants in five games. He also became the third African American to manage a team into a World Series, joining Cito Gaston, who managed the Toronto Blue Jays to the World Championship in the 1992 and 1993 World Series, and Dusty Baker, who managed the Giants in the 2002 World Series.

Referring to Washington, second baseman Ian Kinsler said: "I just love the way he never holds his emotion back, especially when he's managing. He hangs on every pitch, and it's great to know that your manager is in every single pitch and cares that much."[10] In 2009 his salary was about $750,000.[11] On November 4, 2010, Washington agreed to a two-year contract extension.

Washington talks to fans in Houston in August 2014

On October 15, 2011, Washington managed the Rangers to their second World Series in as many years, when the Rangers defeated the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. The Rangers eventually lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games, after twice being one strike away from the title in game 6. On January 30, 2012, Washington agreed to another two-year contract extension. He managed the American League in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.

On September 2, 2012, Washington earned his 507th win as a manager of the Texas Rangers, passing Johnny Oates for 2nd most wins by a Rangers manager. On August 4, 2013, Washington passed Bobby Valentine for the most wins as a Rangers manager, at 582.

Following the conclusion of the 2014 season, Washington is scheduled to travel to Japan to manage a team of MLB All-Stars playing against All-Stars of Nippon Professional Baseball in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.[12]

On September 5, 2014, Washington announced his resignation as manager of the Rangers, citing personal reasons.[13] On September 11, 2014, it was announced by several media outlets that Ron Washington's resignation may be related to allegations of sexual assault against a reporter.[14] On September 18, 2014, Washington announced that he had been having an extramarital affair, and that he had resigned to reconcile with his family.[15] Washington's managerial record with the Rangers was 664–611 (.521), including four consecutive 90-win seasons (2010–13), and two pennants. However, his 2014 squad was only 53–87 (.379).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Washington resigns
  2. ^ "May 28, 1988 Milwaukee Brewers at Cleveland Indians Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ Chavez says thanks to Washington - Oakland Tribune - Find Articles at BNET at the Wayback Machine (archived March 11, 2007). Findarticles.com (2004-04-08). Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  4. ^ Rangers select Washington to manage | texasrangers.com: News. Texas.rangers.mlb.com (2007-02-17). Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Rangers' job narrowed down to four | texasrangers.com: News. Texas.rangers.mlb.com. Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  6. ^ Russell added to list of candidates | texasrangers.com: News. Texas.rangers.mlb.com (1990-06-06). Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  7. ^ "Rangers players, manager need to get in sync". Msn.foxsports.com. September 16, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine last July". CNN. March 17, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Washington back in Bay Area managing World Series". Sports Illustrated. October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ Rangers To Pick Up Option On Manager Ron Washington’s Contract, date=June 8, 2009, accessdate=October 13, 2011
  12. ^ Casella, Paul (August 21, 2014). "MLB stars commit to 'All-Star Series' in Japan". MLB.com. 
  13. ^ Axisa, Mike (September 5, 2014). "Ron Washington resigns as Rangers manager". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ Gorman, Ryan. "Report: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington resigned over sexual assault allegations," AOL.com (Sept. 11, 2014).
  15. ^ Perry, Dayn (September 18, 2014). "Ron Washington says he resigned from Rangers because of affair". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tommie Reynolds
Oakland Athletics Third base coach
1996–2006
Succeeded by
Rene Lachemann