Ron Washington is emerging as a possible managerial candidate for the San Diego Padres.
In the weeks following the firing of former San Diego Padres’ manager Andy Green, there were a lot of names being thrown around. Recently, one of the names that has been thrown into the mix is Ron Washington.
Washington, 67, began his coaching career in 1996 with the Oakland Athletics. He served as the first base coach when Oakland went 78-84. He received a promotion following his first year. Washington, who was a middle-infielder in his brief playing career, was now the infield and third base coach for the A’s. He remained in this role through the 2006 season.
In his ten seasons in this role, the Oakland Athletics made it to October five times. If you recall, this was during Oakland’s “Moneyball” era, where they focused on playing as fundamentally sound baseball as possible. Washington was a big part of this, as general manager Billy Beane wanted his team to play clean defense and be aggressive on the basepaths. Given Washington’s role, the connections are inevitable.
Some incredible infielders played for the Oakland Athletics during his tenure there. Miguel Tejada, who captained the infield, won the AL MVP in 2002. Jason Giambi, 2000 AL MVP, handled duties at first base. And most notably, Eric Chavez. Chavez won six straight Gold Gloves at third base under coach Washington. Chavez even gave Washington his 2004 award signed, “Wash, not without you.”
Ron Washington was rewarded by Texas Rangers following the 2006 season. Texas hired Washington to be their new head coach following an 80-82 season. Washington’s first two seasons were not ideal, as the Rangers finished below .500 in 2007 and 2008. During the 2009 season, things turned around for Washington’s squad. He led the team to an 87-75 record, which just missed the playoffs. The next two seasons were Washington’s most successful as a manager. The Texas Rangers made it to the Fall Classic in back-to-back years. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find a way to hoist the trophy in the end.
The rest of his tenure wasn’t as successful. Washington led the Texas Rangers to the AL Wild Card game in 2012. They failed to score, and that would be the last time Washington would manage in the postseason. The manager resigned during the 2014 season. It seemed like he was trying to escape a sexual assault allegation, but Washington claimed he left to reconcile with his family following an extramarital affair.
Washington would find another job in MLB. He went back to where his coaching career started, and once again was the infield coach for the Oakland Athletics. Later in the 2015 season, he was promoted to third base coach. Following the 2016 season, Ron Washington was a candidate for the Atlanta Braves’ managerial vacancy. He didn’t get the job but was brought into Atlanta as their third-base coach. He has held that position ever since 2017. Washington is also credited with the defensive improvements of Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson.
While Washington has a great resume to turn around the San Diego Padres, he comes with some baggage. Back in 2009, Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine. While that was ten years ago and there have been no reports of him using it since it’s still a concern.
There were also reports of some pitching mismanagement late in seasons. He once complained about how Yu Darvish was asking for starts off in September due to shoulder inflammation. Washington claimed that everyone’s arm and shoulder hurt in September, but you have to push through it to make a run in the playoffs. Considering the young pitching staff of the San Diego Padres, this might be a red flag.
The biggest kicker is the sexual abuse allegation against him in 2014. It was reported that he sexually assaulted a reporter for the Texas Rangers. Nothing was ever filed against him, but there has been a lot of shadiness to the whole situation. It’s not a good look. If he is hired by San Diego, they must be certain that this isn’t going to be an issue moving forward.
Ron Washington also has multiple connections with the San Diego Padres. Padres’ general manager A.J. Preller was the assistant general manager for the Texas Rangers during the Ron Washington era. Ian Kinsler, who at the moment is still a Padre, played for Washington in Texas. Kinsler said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that he loved how Washington wouldn’t be afraid to hold his emotions back and would hold you responsible for mistakes. If the Padres need any questions about him as a manager, Ian Kinsler can certainly answer them.
While every manager brings different tangibles to the table, Washington brings the leadership you want out of your captain and his abilities to help infielders. When you consider that Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias committed a combined 28 errors up the middle, Washington seems like a guy that would help out with that.
Washington was recently interviewed by the San Diego Padres, and it is only a matter of time before someone gets hired. The Padres have reportedly looked into his background significantly, which hints that they like him. If Washington is hired, it is clear that we will be getting an experienced skipper who will take control of the clubhouse. If he isn’t hired as the head coach, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring him on the staff to help out Tatis and Urias anyways.