Wash Owns Up

Ron Washington addresses the media about being unfaithful to his wife during a press conference at the Dallas Marriott in Las Colinas, Texas, Thursday, September 18, 2014. Washington resigned abruptly from his position as manager of the Texas Rangers on Sept. 5. (Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

Even on his way out the door Ron Washington demonstrated what a good guy he is. The good guy move when you have cheated on your wife of 42 years is to drop everything and try to make things right with her. That is exactly what Wash has done. Facing a room full of reporters and the unblinking eye of live television cameras, Wash said, “I was not true to my wife of 42 years.” His announcement ended weeks of wild speculation as to why he stepped down.

“I don’t run when I make a mistake,” Wash said. That was another good guy move, by owning up to his mistake he took Jon Daniels and the Rangers ownership group off the hook. You see, the cynics were sure that Wash stepped away because  of a souring relationship with Jon Daniels. Clearly this had nothing to do with JD and everything to do with Wash making a big personal mistake.

The most successful manager in team history is not mad at anyone in the organization. “The Rangers gave me a home,” he said.  During his tenure as Rangers manager, Wash didn’t ask for much. He is old school and felt like he would be rewarded for hard work and dedication. He is asking for something now though. “All I ask is for your forgiveness and your understanding.”  I don’t think that is too much to ask for a guy that has given Ranger’s fans so much excitement and joy.

As he walked to and from the podium at the Marriott in Las Colinas, Wash had the look of a man who is ashamed of his actions. “I’m embarrassed more than I have ever been in my life,” he said. That is understandable, after 42 years of marriage he should have known better. Adultery is a major misstep and a sin, but it is not as shameful as so many of the things happening in and around other professional  sports.

There were several news reporters hanging around Globe Life Park during the last home stand. The mainstream media was attempting to figure out why Wash left so abruptly. I credit them for restraint in not reporting rumor and innuendo that could not be verified.

Ron Washington will surface in baseball again, he is after all a “lifer.” He may be on a coaching staff as soon as next year. He will not be back with the Rangers, he said as much during the concluding remarks of his prepared statement. “I want to give a final thanks to the fans,” he said and then added, “I will miss the Metroplex.”

I will miss Ron Washington as much as I have missed any coach or manager that has ever left this town. I’ve got a feeling you will too.

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John Rhadigan has called Texas home for nearly 25 years, having spent 11 years at NBC 5 as a sports reporter/anchor and 13 years as an anchor at Fox Sports SW. Rhadigan is the recipient of more than a dozen Emmy Awards for sports reporting and anchoring.