Thursday, March 18, 2010

Guess It Needs A Comment

The news about Ron Washington wasn't a welcome one. And it wasn't really a story that the Fan wanted to feature here in the FanDome. But, the revelation is an important one and as such deserves at least a mention. The timing sort of stinks because the Rangers seem to be in a position to finally dethrone the Angels in the AL West, and certainly, somebody has to do that, just for the sake of difference.

As Jeff Passan over at Yahoo Sports stated, the Rangers really had no choice here but to give Ron Washington another chance after he told them about what happened. Passan correctly correlates that if the team has given Josh Hamilton a second chance after that bar incident last year, then they have to do the same with Washington. But there are a couple of issues here that are a bit disturbing.

First, Washington has admitted his wrongdoing AND the MLB testers have a positive test. Wouldn't those two things combined put Washington afoul of the law since cocaine is illegal? Couldn't the local police view this as corroborating evidence and arrest the manager? And if so, and if (it's a long shot) the police did act on such information, what would the Rangers do then? Hamilton's adventure was in a bar and drinking and giving body shots to young women is not illegal.

Secondly, Hamilton is a player, not a boss. As someone who has been in the position as the boss, there is a higher standard there. As a boss, one of my workers would get a second chance for an OUI conviction, but the boss wouldn't, because a boss is supposed to hold a higher standard of behavior. Ron Washington is the manager, or the boss of a bunch of young men. As such, his standard is higher than Hamilton's. So really, you can't compare the two.

All of that said, everyone...everyone deserves a second chance after making a mistake. But the thing that sticks in the Fan's craw is this: Why would a middle aged man suddenly try cocaine just once? The Fan is middle aged and wouldn't even know where to find such stuff. Perhaps it was simply available at a party or something. The circumstances of the usage would be important to the Fan as an employer. Was the usage at home or at a party? If at home, that seems a bit more implausible that this was a one time thing.

Necessarily, due to Washington's privacy, the Rangers won't reveal those kinds of details and they shouldn't. But those details would mean a lot of different things to an employer. The proper procedure is in place and regular testing is now Washington's lot in life. As it should be. And thus the Rangers are protected against a repeat offense. There won't be a second chance.

Washington played at a time when cocaine was a problem in baseball. We had those sticky situations with the Pirates and Tim Raines and Paul Molitor. The Rangers and MLB have little choice but to believe Washington that this was a one time stupid mistake. But the Fan would feel a little gullible to believe that.

Again, the timing of all this really sucks as the Rangers really have a shot at winning the AL West. Plus, this is the first major news story with the new owners in place. They must be thrilled.

Ron Washington will be on a short leash. If the Rangers get off to a slow start, his head will roll faster than a Dick Webber bowling ball. But that's the way it goes when you do something so stupid.


Josh Borenstein said...

I think the only reason why Washington wasn't fired was because the season is about to start and the Rangers could actually contend in that division this year. But if they don't make the playoffs again, Washington will be canned. As he should be.

Billy the Kid said...

Josh, the only problem with that logic is that this actually happened months ago(september I believe). It just now is going public.

I think the main reason he is still employed is that he told his bosses before the test results came back. He probably wouldn't have told them if there hadn't been a random test, but at least once there was he came clean first to his brass. He could have gone the Bonds route(It must have been in this cream, I didn't know what it was!)

Now, I am not defending his actions, but give him some credit that at least he came clean when caught. As the Fan stated, washington is from the era of "fun" drugs in baseball. I can't remember who it was or whether it was a perfect game or no-hitter, but I know it was from the same era where a pitcher claimed to be tripping his (base)balls off(on a side note, I can't imagine how that was for him..."Dude, the plate has eyes and the batter's a six feet tall lizard..what do I throw?!?").

Anyways, to get back on track, I think the man deserves his chance. I am not naïve enough to believe that it was just at some party, but addiction is addiction, and as someone who has struggled with it himself, it doesn't matter if the substance is legal or not, it is still really hard to overcome, but you can beat it. He should be tested regulary and if he can stay clean, he should keep his job. He and mike maddux are both a big part of the rangers resurgence. It would be a shame to base his whole career on this. I say let's see how the man faces this aftermath, and not judge him on his past.

bobook said...

It's his business and only his business. Until he hurts someone else, the government and I have no business minding his business.