Ron Washington

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Ron Washington
Ron Washington on August 14, 2015.jpg
Washington coaching the Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves – No. 37
Infielder / Manager / Coach
Born: (1952-04-29) April 29, 1952 (age 68)
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
MLB statistics
Batting average.261
Home runs20
Runs batted in146
Managerial record664–611
Winning %.521
As player
As manager
As coach

Ronald Louis Washington (born April 29, 1952) is an American former professional baseball shortstop. He played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Houston Astros.

Washington is currently the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves. He is also the former manager of the Texas Rangers, whom he took to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.[1] Prior to managing the Rangers, Washington coached in the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics organizations. He is one of only three MLB players, along with U L Washington and Frank White, who were products of the Royals Academy.[2]

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 also played various seasons in the Mexican Pacific League during the winters throughout the 70’s and 80’s. He earned a brief September callup with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977 hitting .368 (7 for 19). He would not 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.[3]

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."[4]

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".

Managerial and coaching career[edit]

On November 6, 2006, the Texas Rangers announced that Washington had accepted their offer to manage the team[5] 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[6] and former Rangers catcher John Russell.[7]

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.[8]

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."[9]

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.[10]

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."[11] In 2009 his salary was about $750,000.[12] 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 traveled 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.[13]

On September 5, 2014, Washington announced his resignation as manager of the Rangers, citing personal reasons.[14] 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.[15] On September 18, 2014, Washington announced that he had been having an extramarital affair, and that he had resigned to reconcile with his family.[16] 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).

Washington was hired as an infield coach by the Oakland Athletics on May 21, 2015.[17] He became the A's third base coach on August 24, 2015.[18]

In October 2016, it was learned that Washington was a finalist for the Atlanta Braves managerial vacancy. The Braves opted to promote interim manager Brian Snitker instead, and then announced the hiring of Washington as their new third base coach, replacing Bo Porter.[19]

Managerial record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
TEX 2007 162 75 87 .463 4th in AL West
TEX 2008 162 79 83 .488 2nd in AL West
TEX 2009 162 87 75 .537 2nd in AL West
TEX 2010 162 90 72 .556 1st in AL West 8 8 .500 Lost World Series
TEX 2011 162 96 66 .593 1st in AL West 10 7 .588 Lost World Series
TEX 2012 162 93 69 .574 2nd in AL West 0 1 .000 Lost in ALWC
TEX 2013 163 91 72 .558 2nd in AL West
TEX 2014 141 53 88 .376 Resigned September 5th
Total 1276 664 612 .521 18 16 .529


  1. ^ Ron Washington resigns
  2. ^ Mellinger, Sam. "Forty years later, Royals Academy lives on in memories," The Kansas City (MO) Star, Saturday, August 2, 2014.
  3. ^ "May 28, 1988 Milwaukee Brewers at Cleveland Indians Play by Play and Box Score". Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Chavez says thanks to Washington - Oakland Tribune - Find Articles at BNET". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2016.. (2004-04-08). Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Rangers select Washington to manage | News[permanent dead link]. (2007-02-17). Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  6. ^ Rangers' job narrowed down to four | News Archived October 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  7. ^ Russell added to list of candidates | News Archived October 22, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. (1990-06-06). Retrieved on January 18, 2009.
  8. ^ "Rangers players, manager need to get in sync". September 16, 2010. Archived from the original on July 10, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  9. ^ [1] Archived July 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine last July". CNN. March 17, 2010.
  11. ^ "Washington back in Bay Area managing World Series". Sports Illustrated. October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  12. ^ Grant, Evan (June 8, 2009). "Rangers To Pick Up Option On Manager Ron Washington's Contract". Inside Corner. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  13. ^ Casella, Paul (August 21, 2014). "MLB stars commit to 'All-Star Series' in Japan".
  14. ^ Axisa, Mike (September 5, 2014). "Ron Washington resigns as Rangers manager". Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  15. ^ Gorman, Ryan. "Report: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington resigned over sexual assault allegations," (Sept. 11, 2014).
  16. ^ Perry, Dayn (September 18, 2014). "Ron Washington says he resigned from Rangers because of affair". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  17. ^ Jeremy F. Koo (May 21, 2015). "Oakland A's hire Ron Washington as major league coach". Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  18. ^ "Ron Washington returns to field full-time as A's third-base coach". August 24, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Bowman, Mark (October 11, 2016). "Washington, Hernandez join Braves' coaching staff". Retrieved October 11, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tommie Reynolds
Mike Gallego
Oakland Athletics Third base coach
Succeeded by
Rene Lachemann
Chip Hale
Preceded by
Buck Showalter
Texas Rangers Manager
Succeeded by
Jeff Banister
Preceded by
Bo Porter
Atlanta Braves Third base coach
Succeeded by