Texas Rangers Manager Ron Washington Resigns
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington unexpectedly resigned Friday, saying he needed to devote his full attention to an "off-the-field personal matter."
The stunning announcement came a day after the Rangers (53-87) lost their sixth straight game and became the first team in the majors mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Only three years ago, Texas reached its second consecutive World Series under Washington.
Washington issued a statement in which he said his resignation had nothing to do with the disappointing season. The statement did not disclose any details of why he was leaving.
"I have submitted my resignation from the job I love - managing the Rangers - in order to devote my full attention to addressing an off-the-field personal matter. As painful as it is, stepping away from the game is what's best for me and my family," Washington said. "This is in no way related to the disappointing performance of the team this season. We were already discussing 2015 and looking forward to getting the Rangers back to postseason contention."
Washington, who had been with the Rangers since the 2007 season, said it had been a privilege to be part of some of the best parts in Rangers history and will also be grateful for the opportunity he had there.
"I deeply regret that I've let down the Rangers organization and our great fans," Washington said, who ended his statement asking for privacy.
During spring training in 2010, it was disclosed that Washington had admitted to using cocaine once the previous year. Team executives stood by Washington and he received a two-year contract extension in 2012, and during spring training this year another year was added through the 2015 season.
The 62-year-old Washington was a skinny middle infielder who had more than twice as many games in the minors than the majors in 20 seasons as a professional player. He then spent four years as a minor league coach before 11 seasons as an assistant in Oakland, the last 10 as the third-base coach before the Rangers hired him before the 2007 season.
Texas won 75 games in Washington's first season as a manager and increased its victory total in each year through 2011, when the Rangers set a franchise record by winning 96 games.
Washington's 664 wins are the most for any Rangers manager. He left with a 664-611 record (.521 winning percentage) and their only two World Series.