Texas Rangers

Ron Washington Still Has His Job. I Know, I Can't Believe it Either.

Take a bow Wade Phillips, Rick Carlisle and Marc Crawford, for you toil away at your head-coaching job ... without the use of cocaine.

Amazingly, the same cannot be said for Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington.

Let me get this out of the way right up front: Washington should have been fired when he tested positive for cocaine last July. I like Wash. Have from the start. But he is not worthy of the privilege of managing a Major League Baseball team.

The fact that he still has a job - and, in fact, was never even disciplined - is another black-eye cover-up for your Rangers and MLB. Embarrassing. Saddening. Maddening.

"I fucked up," Washington told Dallas' Only Daily columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor Wednesday in Surprise, Arizona. "I told Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels that, and I fully expected them to fire me. I would've deserved it."

No shit.

Managers are human. They make mistakes. But they are also paid, respected and charged with the responsibility of not going out after a game and snorting lines of blow. This is as unsightly as it is unprecedented.

My real problem - as it was with the covert handling of Josh Hamilton's famed slip-up last winter - is with the Rangers. And, yes, that means I'm looking at you general manager Jon Daniels and Big Tex icon Nolan Ryan.

You're not liars, but you certainly don't tell us the truth.

No way around it, this is a slap in the face to Rangers fans. Your manager uses cocaine in the middle of a pennant race and management decides to sweep it under the rug and hope it quietly goes away? Come out for one of our family-night promotions, but don't expect to hear what's really going on with one of the family leaders?

It's just so disingenuous.

And don't give me the "Who cares?" line. If you don't care about your manager - not a player, mind you, a manager - doing cocaine, do you care about anything? Washington, remember, isn't paid to hit home runs or throw curve balls. He's paid to lead young men, and to make savvy decisions. Pretty sure using coke - and does anybody out there truly believe this is his first and only occasion with the drug? - falls in neither category.

If the Rangers weren't going to immediately fire Washington, they at the very least should have admitted his problems publicly and suspended him. Instead, they played hush-hush and only talked about the incident when SI.com blew the lid off the story. Just as last summer when Deadspin revealed the pics of Hamilton's whipped cream craze.

Sorry, but I no longer trust the Rangers. Their accountability and credibility is severely, if not permanently, tarnished. What else are they hiding?

I feel for Washington. After his mistake, he did the right thing. He told the Rangers immediately. His apology yesterday was heart-felt. I'll be pulling for him this season. I just don't think he should still have his job.

Says Hamilton of his manager:

"I don't think any less of the man or his character. I'm not worried about him. I got a little more respect for him today. To stand up there and admit to that in front of everybody is admirable."

Adds Michael Young:

"From our standing, he will be looked at the same as he was yesterday."


To me, what would be truly admirable would be Washington diligently, competently doing his job without the use of drugs. And you can't possibly view a person the same after this bombshell of a revelation.

I lost a lot of respect for Wash. And even more for the Texas Rangers.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt