Before posting anything about Sports Illustrated's breaking story about Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington's positive test for cocaine last July, I wanted to clarify one question: How often are managers tested for drug use? Because initially, the SI story didn't say, though now it's been updated to reflect that info.
As MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told me a short time ago, testing began following a recommendation made in the Mitchell Report concerning performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. "One of the recommendations he made was to test everyone around clubhouses on a regular basis: trainers, clubbies, the whole gamut as you can guess, including managers and coaches," he says. "And since there aren't [players'] union issues, you can test them for drugs of abuse as well."
Which happens how often? "Once a year," says Courtney. "And it's unannounced." (Which means Washington, claiming it was just this once, has terrible timing. Or ...)
And that is all Courtney will say about that. Because MLB has no further comment on Washington's positive test, the Rangers' decision not to fire the skipper or the fact the results of his test were made public.
"We do comment with performance enhancing substances," Courtney says, "but in terms of individuals and drugs of abuse," no further comment.
After the jump is Washington's apology, which we just received from the Rangers front office.