Small Talk: Saying Goodbye To Ron Washington

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From a history of being vertically challenged, Caleb-Ryan Davis with KTSW Sports has brought together the two things he loves the most: sports and words. Welcome to Small Talk: A short column about everything, big and small, in sports.

“That’s the way baseball go.”

That’s a baseball phrase coined by the Texas Rangers’ Ron Washington that will never be beaten in terms of wackiness and reliability. Washington knew that the game of baseball wasn’t permanent, and that it wasn’t fair at times, but he respected it the way that managers are supposed to nevertheless.

After leading the last place Texas Rangers to a 53-87 record in his eighth year at the helm, Washington is stepping down and the Rangers are going miss him.

They will miss him for his post game dialogue that incorporated wacky Yogi Berra  quotes we read about in history books.

They will miss his over the top base coaching that he became famous for in the dugout of the 2010 and 2011 World Series trips.

They will miss his infectious smile and cheesy hug that accompanied the “Hello Win Column” that radio broadcaster Eric Nadel spat out into the mic as the Rangers high-fived each other atop the mound.

From a baseball standpoint, they will miss what Texas Rangers great Michael Young was quoted as saying: “[Washington’s] the best manager Texas has ever had.”

Players loved playing for him, coaches loved coaching for him and the fans loved trusting him to throw out the lineup that was best for the team, even if there were, at times, disputes.

What I personally will miss most is hearing ballpark announcer Chuck Morgan introduce the team and end it with “Manager of the Texas Rangers, number 38, Ron Washington,” which was nearly always followed with proud applause.

I will miss watching him mentor young pitchers and players like Derek Holland, Elvis Andrus, Robbie Ross, Leonys Martin and Rougned Odor. I will miss watching the respect he received from players like Michael Young, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre.

We will all miss seeing him win against the rivaled Los Angeles Angels, and the history filled New York Yankees. The “31.5 games back Texas Rangers” are incredibly bad this year but will be good again soon.

It’s unfortunate that Washington’s last game as manager of the Texas Rangers was a game where they lost by more than a touchdown.

It’s unfortunate that he was forced to field a team of youngsters not yet ready to play in the big leagues. Although, then again, if this truly was to be his last season as the manager of the Texas Rangers, I want the future of the organization nowhere else on earth than in the dugout with number 38, Ron Washington.

So, when you look at it that way, I guess “That’s the way baseball go.”


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