Saturday, September 6, 2014

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Ron Washington


Like everyone else, I'm saddened by Ron Washington's departure and by the offered reason for it.   I have no particular insight on this.  But it reminded me of something I wrote a long time ago.  This piece ran on October 26, 2010.



Ron Washington and The Other


[Irrelevant matter omitted.]


To Ron Washington, baseball is The Other.
To Ron Washington, baseball is a, separate, sensate, volitional entity.  It is a thing unto itself that gives, takes, and speaks, and to whom one gives and from which one takes, and to whom one listens. 
Consider the way he talks about it.  I don’t have the time to research all of his interviews, but it appeared vividly in today’s press conference, when he said something like: When the game tells you to bunt, you bunt; when the game tells you to steal, you steal.   And in another recent interview, he said something like:   You take what baseball gives you, and you give what baseball takes.   There are numerous other examples along these same lines.  

Even his repeated use of the phrase "the game of baseball" bespeaks a certain reverence, a reverence one holds for the mysterious Other.
And even his Ticket-promoted signature phrase – That’s the way baseball go.  Doesn’t that sound a lot like Josh Howard saying that you can’t control what the ball do?  And, like that basketball, baseball is crazy.  (Fun?)  And you have to deal with its craziness like it’s an insanely possessive lover from whom you cannot escape, to whom you must return day after day to do her bidding, whatever she tells you to do, and you give to her what she demands.   You have to listen to what she tells you she wants, make sure you heard it correctly, and then deliver it right then and there so that she will give you what you want.
No, I don’t mean that Ron Washington has a peculiar sexual yearning for the game of baseball.    I mean nothing more than that Ron Washington thinks of baseball as a discrete being, equal parts demanding and benevolent, to whom direct and careful attention must be paid.  And if you do it right, with appropriate respect and loyalty, that attention will be rewarded with victory.
To Ron Washington, baseball is a spirit. 
His relationship with The Other is the source of The Passion of Ron Washington.
*     *     *

OK, we're back to September 2014.
It wasn't drugs.  It wasn't health.  He wasn't fired.   The possibility of depression has been mentioned; no one seems to know.  USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Wash texted him:  "I'll be back!  Need some time!"
As The Hardline said, the departure invites speculation.  Mine is no more informed than anyone else's, and less than many's.  
But I wonder if what happened was a something akin to an unbearable crisis of faith.  The game let the man down.  Turned its back on him.  Visited ill-fortune on individual players, robbed promising up-and-comers of their promise.   Robbed talented players of their desire to fight through adversity (Yu?).  And nothing he did changed a thing.   Loss after loss after dreary loss.
He had to get away, before another loss attacked his soul, maybe to talk to it, like Job, think about where the love had gone.

41 comments:

The Plainsman said...

I note the report that the resignation was prompted by a vigorous disagreement between Washington and Daniels over Daniels' decision to shut down Yu.

http://nolanwritin.com/2014/09/06/breaking-news-latest-ron-washington-resignation-texas-rangers/

Rings true.

Now, if only some Cowboys coaches and personnel guys had that kind of conviction.

Brad Gilbert said...

I thought it might have something to do with Daniel's wanting to change the staff & Wash refused, but this sounds plausible too.

Anonymous said...

IF this is true, again, IF it is, then this speaks none too well of Wash. If true, it smacks of someone looking for a reason to leave. Many of us have been there or at least have seen it up close: guy grows tired of girl, guy meets new girl, guy wants to get rid of old girl but hasn't enough ammo to leave AND come off as the good guy, guy begins to look for reasons to leave, guy might try to manufacture situations to get said reason, etc. etal. you get the picture.

A big IF to all this. It goes against my and I think everyone out there's perception of Wash. I hope it ain't so.

Celery said...

I am convinced there is an educational bias in this town when it comes to JD and Jason Garret. I hear it suggested quite often that they must be smart (because they went to Cornell or Princeton). Why would the media use this poor thinking? It's just like people who say an undergrad from some school is just as good as a Masters from someplace else. Probably not. The ESPN crew addressed Pat Haden's ass clownery by assuring the audience that he was a great man of integrity because he was a Rhodes Scholar. Hm. I guess ignoring Pete Carrol's personal issues (his grad student gal pal-a bad idea) and willful ignorance in the Reggie Bush situation AND hiring a well known fool like Lane Kiffin are all forgivable since Haden is ya know...a Rhodes Scholar. Education does not make a person great. JD has been a John Hart clone since his first day. Even his speaking affect is the same. Nolan Ryans presence changed the culture. Now he is gone. We are left with "well educated" empty suits.

Anonymous said...

Celery - I absolutely agree with the educational bias aspect of your note especially in reference to Garrett. Garrett has an English literature degree from Princeton in this somehow is supposed to make him brilliant when he clearly demonstrates time and time again he cant handle even rudimentary clock management. Give me a math major from UT Arlington over an English Lit major from an Ivy League school.

Shaggy said...

Heh, TSJ had some choice words for the author of that "article" about JD.

Anonymous said...

Did you all see/hear that Sean Bass has been promoted to "Sports Director" for the ticket? Good move for SeaBass.

Anonymous said...

Yes, good for Sean.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a link to the 'Work in Progress' podcast with Mino, Fahey, and Justin M.? TIA

gunther said...

Sounds pretty generic to me, what does a Sports Director do? But congrats nonetheless...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Sean (and Jake)…it looks like The Musers are inclined to think the supposedly (per TSJ) bogus, fan-fiction report of what went down with Wash. Like others, I too congratulate Sean on his promotion. But I must say the constant schilling for JD and the front-office is too much.

Nypo Golan said...

Wash to the musers to do tickers

James said...

Plainsman: Regarding your link to that NolanWritin article, I had never heard of that site before, and the writing is pretty bad. Not that that makes the story untrue, but the inferior writing doesn't help its credibility.

Shaggy said...

JD deserves all the accolades that he gets. He is the person most responsible for the Rangers' success over the last 5 years.

And anyone who would rather have Nolan here instead of JD just doesn't understand the realities of baseball.

James said...

OK, I just poked around that Nolanwritin site a little more, and most of the writing is done by fans, not pro writers. and that's a good thing. Still, another article on that site had this gem: "According the to Jon Daniels yesterday they know about this issue for several weeks now."

Nolanwritin really needs an editor, or at least a proofreader.

Anonymous said...

Shorter Celery: "We don't need no dad-gum book-loearnin' around here!"

Anonymous said...

Shaggy, I don't see why there has to be an either/or choice. They could both be responsible. And just because someone thinks another is a shill for either side doesn't mean the "accuser" is on team JD or team Ryan. It merely means I think so and so is a shill. But that's that burnt orange worldview for you. Anyway, how do you know who of the two was most responsible for the very short lived success? I'm glad we have such a wise, just ask him he'll tell you, baseball mind gracing MTC.

Celery said...

Shaggy-I am not suggesting a Nolan Ryan conspiracy (an all out one, anyway). I agree that JD deserves accolades in terms of personnel decisions. However, he simply is not a "culture" changer. This morning the Musers mentioned JD going in for a pep talk with the team while Ron Washington stood outside cursing. It be would patently wrong to say Nolan Ryan was the sole reason for their success. I just think it had to do with some of JDs moves and a significant push from Ryan from move the organization forward.
Signing and developing great players does not ensure championships (though it obviously goes a long way). Perhaps the real crux of this issue is this: who really deserves the credit?
My original point, though, was that JD and Garrett are given latitude because of their "elite" education. Perhaps today illustrated that their college passes are being revoked.

Anonymous said...

Starting to look like that poorly writing blogger who's just a fan so she doesn't really count has the story right. Except what she poorly wrote was merely the tip of the iceberg. When the dust settles, I have a hunch everyone is going to think differently of both JD and Wash. Negatively so.

Anonymous said...

Rhyner to Mino: "Remember what happened to the last guy who didn't get audio."

Shaggy said...

What makes you say it's starting to look like she was right?

James said...

Change of subject: Can someone tell me what's the deal with the derision of Jerry Jones Junior? Is he really that inept? Are the Ticket hosts just picking him as a butt of their jokes because he's convenient? Is there a backstory here?

So Anonymous said...

it didnt take long but kevin costner has me longing for the days of the stream techno jam song

Anonymous said...

The NolanWritin' blogger is from California.

JD and Wash are tight. JD has certainly made his fair share of enemies, but contrary to popular belief, Wash is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

She's from here, grew up here, only recently moved to CA, keeps close ties with some close to the organization.

Colorado P1 said...

3:31 - no kidding what an unbelievable beating. Seems like they have it set to run every single time I press play on the app.

Anonymous said...

The Sports Director promotion is KTCK's way of filling the Rich Phillips Assistant Program Director chair without giving the money bump that the job would normally take. Many sports media members have the Sports Director title marked next to their name to merit a salary bump, such as Newy Scruggs at Ch. 5. The APD job is a much bigger job than the ticket hosts make it out to be.
-Not Spittle, Not Dawson, Not Richie

Anonymous said...

But what about the Interim Program Director?

So Anonymous said...

if ron washington holds on to butts are they underage butts?

Anonymous said...

@So Anonymous
That's where my thoughts, unfortunately, are heading as well. You don't go through this for "mere" infidelity. And when BaD begins to say things like "this might change the way he's viewed forever and what he's remembered for," I can't help but think it's something very unseemly.

-Not Charlemagne, Not Pepin the Short, Not Carloman I

Lucky Jim said...

Did I miss something? What's with the insinuations made by the last two comments?

Shaggy said...

The interim program director will wield his sword at a time of his choosing.

So, the blogger hack had it totally wrong, huh?

gunther said...

Wtf? I'm with Lucky Jim, has there been a leak of Wash's conduct leading to his resignation and does that conduct involve use of the peen? First inclination would be not to believe it but then again, given the times we live in...

Anonymous said...

BaDD Radio insinuated today that it was a criminal sexual matter, and they said they heard a rumor that there would be a Ron Washington press conference this afternoon at 3pm. I had to stop listening at 1:30pm -- I take it no such press conference has occurred this afternoon?

Lucky Jim said...

Nothing thus far. Only talk of Goodell, who has been proven to be a thug, liar, and manipulator many times over.

Gopher said...

Now congress is involved wanting full transparency on the matter.


Let's have full transparency on Benghazi from them, then go forward.

gunther said...

And Fast and Furious, and the IRS scandal, and where the illegals are being sent, and the VA scandal, and the truth about how Obamacare is gonna kill us economically (and literally in many cases) and on and on. Damn media is so political it's sickening.

cactusflinthead said...

If it was a serious criminal offense then why would JD and the rest of the organization be surprised at his leaving? Why would they seem to be upset at his sudden departure? Not buying it. Got caught with skanky ho but not underage? Yeah, I could see that and them want to keep him around, but even that is marginal. Underage illicit activity? He's right over here officer.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Bad Radio was suggesting it was a criminal matter. It might be. I think they were suggesting it was a legal matter. When I first heard about lawyers in the clubhouse at his team meeting, one thing jumped to mind. That is the kind of thing you do when you have a manager that has had an inappropriate relationship with an employee and you are concerned there will be a lawsuit by said employee.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Gopher said...

Now congress is involved wanting full transparency on the matter.


Let's have full transparency on Benghazi from them, then go forward.

September 10, 2014 at 6:07 PM
Anonymous gunther said...

And Fast and Furious, and the IRS scandal, and where the illegals are being sent, and the VA scandal, and the truth about how Obamacare is gonna kill us economically (and literally in many cases) and on and on. Damn media is so political it's sickening.

September 10, 2014 at 7:17 PM



Seriously? We're doing conservative conspiracy theories now? How is this shit allowed here?

Anonymous said...

Gagree. No place for that here. Let's move on to something more interesting if in fact there is anything. Like a great Texas country ballad:
Walked in from the sun into the shade
Looked at the dress on that bridesmaid
Took the pin out of a hand grenade
Yeah we goin' have a good time
Went to play games at the mall arcade
Listened to the rhymes of a kid in fourth grade
Handin' out Dixie cups full of koolaid
Yeah we goin have a good time
(Guitar)
Drinkin' outa Styrofoam gives me a hiccup
Puttin' on makeup in my pickup
When I hear my songs I wanna throw up
Yeah we goin have a good time