Mac Engel: R-rated Ron Washington was meant for Texas Rangers' ears only
11/07/2011 11:09 PM
11/08/2011 4:26 PM
The rat within the Rangers' organization was busted.
The person who recorded and leaked manager Ron Washington's pregame speech before Game 7 of the World Series was not a St. Louis Cardinals visiting clubhouse attendant as I originally suspected. The person was a member of the Rangers' traveling support staff. Rangers GM Jon Daniels would not say whether the employee was canned, but I have visions of Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura dancing in my head.
Why anybody associated with the Rangers would make this recording, which went viral Monday, makes no sense, even if it was for fun. This is fly-on-the-wall stuff and basic clubhouse privacy should have been respected.
Very little can be gleaned from this six-minute recording, other than that the manager of the Texas Rangers can go curse word for curse word with Chris Rock, his team sounded loose and Game 6 was still very much on the team's collective minds.
If you are still in the mood to be mad at Ron Washington, be upset at any number of second-guessable decisions he made during the Series. Remember in your rant that this man managed the Rangers to consecutive World Series and was one strike away (twice) from winning it.
Do not be mad because of the way he talks. What we have here is an R-rated Yogi Berra.
In Michael Lewis' best-selling book, Moneyball, the author says Washington, then an A's coach, is a man who should be in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations because of his endless array of memorable lines. This is a guy who, after finishing 75-87 in his first season as manager of the team in 2007, said he gave himself an A.
His "That's the way baseball go" makes an English teacher cringe, but it makes Wash Wash.
Listening to this recording you can see why players like this man -- he does not hide from who he is. How many people do you know who can say that?
"We can play this (bleeping bleeping) game; ain't no doubt about it. We can beat those (bleeping bleepings) over there. No doubt about it," Wash is heard saying in the recording before Game 7. "But I can tell you this -- they are over there saying the same (bleeping bleeping) thing. Why? Because they are champions, too. And good (bleeping bleeping) champions. But we know we can beat those (bleeping bleepers). They aren't so sure about us."
This is a Major League Baseball clubhouse, not Nickelodeon. And spare me that this is a glorified frat house full of Neanderthals incapable of completing a sentence without curse words; put enough women in the same group and the language is equally coarse, if not worse.
Baseball is a game where men routinely adjust themselves, spit, eschew shaving, blow their noses and scratch in full view of thousands of fans and a national TV audience. Yet inside their clubhouse, they are supposed to talk as if they are in Sunday school?
The hardest part of listening to this recording isn't the language, but to hear the forced optimism from Wash, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Mike Maddux. Knowing what we do now, it is painful to hear.
More than once was Game 6 referenced, and try as they may, you just knew it was playing hell with their minds.
"Last night was a [bleep]," Young said. "It was an incredible game; let's not think about last night. We can tell stories 20 years from now how we survived Game 6 and came back and sprayed champagne in Game 7."
If you do hop on The Google machine to listen to this recording, keep in mind these are professional jocks preparing to play the biggest game of their lives. This was never intended for public consumption.
The recording is not that much different than finding out someone else read an e-mail you didn't intend them to read; nothing is embarrassing, but you didn't want them to see it.
Nothing Wash said during this clip should come as a surprise. This is who he is. He has never pretended to be anything other than Ron Washington.
But if you are just hankering to be mad because the Rangers lost one of the most painful World Series ever, just focus on the manager's decisions, not his language.
Follow Mac Engel on Twitter @MacEngelProf and the Big Mac Blog.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7697
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