Good thing there’s nobody in the sportswriting profession with a drinking and/or zipper problem. Two days after Dallas Morning News colleague Evan Grant adopted a strangely sneery tone in covering Josh Hamilton’s latest setback, colleague Tim Colishaw takes to the same paper’s pages to wonder if Hamilton and former manager Ron Washington’s respective tenures in baseball are over (“I don’t know if it’s time to say we’ll never again see either man in a major league uniform. Seems too soon for that, but sometimes you wonder”)
Washington wants a job but has he really come clean as to why he quit on his team last September? You always prefer to take a man at his word. But if one night of infidelity chased him away from the game — and he almost certainly would be the first if that’s true — why didn’t his positive test for cocaine send him running years before?
I think someone could hire Washington as a coach and maybe next season. But it’s hard to envision unless he’s willing to be more forthcoming.
If you require some precedent in a manager bailing on his players and finding another job soon afterwards, look no futher than journeyman skipper Jim Riggleman, who resigned as Nationals manager in the middle of an 11-1, June 2011 run. The following spring, he was managing the Reds’ Pensacola (AA) affiliate, their Triple A club in Louisville a year later. This February, Riggleman’s in Cincinnati camp as the Reds’ third base coach.
When you’re done comparing the two situations, consider their managerial resumes. Washington went to the the World Series twice. None of Riggleman’s 4 MLB clubs made the playoffs. Riggleman compiled 2 winning seasons out of 12 ; Washington won 90 games or more 4 times. But Wash is the one who’s unemployable. Maybe that’s because, as Colishaw alludes, he’s got a skeleton in the closet much, much worse, than say, Jim Riggleman throwing a fit over his perceived market value.
Or maybe it’s just business as usual.