September 27 game chat

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports writes movingly about Rangers manager Ron Washington.

… Eventually, when Sports Illustrated published the story of the big league manager who’d tested for cocaine, he’d have to come clean to his friends, and his players, and the world.

The Rangers wanted him in counseling. They wanted no more surprises. They struggled with the concept of a middle-aged man turning to cocaine, but they chose to believe. What they wanted most of all was honesty.

The next day, when baseball was in the midst of spring training and roiling with the news of Washington and cocaine and demands he be fired, Washington admitted he’d smoked marijuana and taken amphetamines as a player.

”Whoa,” Daniels thought wryly, ”too much honesty.”

But, Washington, who had completed the drug program, endured extra testing and eventually returned to the regular pool of annual random tests, continued to apologize. For every television camera, he bore the consequences. For every newspaper, he promised to be a better man. For every fan, he wore the taunts and bowed his head.

”I couldn’t react in a negative manner,” Washington said, ”because they were right.”

And he managed his ballclub.

”I was proud of him,” Rangers third baseman Mike Young said. ”And I’m proud to play for him.” …

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