Ron Washington might be the last of a dying breed — an old-school baseball lifer who speaks his mind, tells a great story and is a wonderful quote.
That’s why it’s a treat to have Washington — the current Atlanta Braves third-base coach and ex-Texas Rangers manager who is approaching 50 years in professional baseball — as the guest on this week’s episode of the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast. Washington is as entertaining as ever as he talks about baseball issues both serious and funny — including the lack of black managers in MLB, his own history with some of the game’s best managers and a long-passed-around story by baseball writers of which he is the star.
The story, which we’re happy to put on the record on this podcast (with the help of ESPN’s Howard Bryant), has been shared by baseball writers many times over beers and now we’re hearing it from Washington’s point of view. It’s a story about his clash with a reporter who was covering the A’s when he was a coach there. Let’s just say it’s funny — and not exactly clean. You’ve been warned.
The ninth episode of the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast was released Tuesday on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Acast and other podcast platforms. It includes our Washington interview, plus our takes on a variety of ideas to “fix” baseball, what the Angels should do with Shohei Ohtani, what’s cursed the Mets and an all-new fresh act or tired act segment. Oh, and our special Spelling Bee with Yahoo Sports’ own human thesaurus Jeff Passan.
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Here are some other notable snippets from Tim Brown’s talk with Washington:
On the lack of black managers in MLB:
“We certainly need more progress. I know there’s a lot of minorities out there that can certainly handle this job. It’s like anything else, at one time you had a good amount of black managers at the same time, then it’s reversed and we only have one now. It’ll change again because there are a lot of African-Americans that are in this game of baseball that certainly can handle a 25-man roster in an organization.”
On managing again:
“Once you manage a baseball team and have success, you can’t get it out of your system. I know that I can take a team and get an opportunity in the World Series again.”
On whether he’d go to the White House if the Braves won the World Series:
“The only way Ron Washington wouldn’t go is if the decision-maker for the Atlanta Braves decide the Atlanta Braves aren’t going. See what I’m saying? I’m not going to be the one to step out front to say that we’re not going to the White House … If what you said happens to the Atlanta Braves and the ones that have to make those decisions decide we’re going to the White House, then I’m going to the White House. If they decide we’re not going to the White House, I’m not going to the White House. Simple.”
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