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Ron Washington resigning not related to drugs, says Jon Daniels

Ron Washington smokingRon Washington resigned as manager of the Texas Rangers on Friday, which came as a surprise to most.

Prior to this season, the Rangers had five consecutive winning seasons under Wash including back-to-back trips to the World Series and three straight playoff appearances. Texas suffered numerous injuries to key players and is 53-87 this season. Washington said in his resignation statement that stepping down did not have anything to do with the poor season.

Upon hearing that Washington resigned for personal reasons, many speculated that the manager could be dealing a drug problem; Washington tested positive for cocaine in 2009. GM Jon Daniels was asked in a press conference Friday if that was the case and said it wasn’t.

“Ron’s given us the permission to acknowledge that this was not drug related,” said Daniels.

If drugs and the poor season are not the reasons for the resignation, then why did Washington step down?

Daniels said their relationship changed over time, and that’s about the only explanation we’re receiving.

Washington has been the team’s manager since 2007. Maybe after that long a manager can no longer get through to his players the same way. Or maybe after that long the manager and front office are no longer on the same page.

Hopefully we’ll have some clarity on the matter. It was just two weeks ago that team exec Thad Levine was praising Washington for his work in helping Josh Hamilton blossom with the Rangers, so obviously he felt pretty highly about the manager in some regards.

Ron Washington resigns citing ‘off-the-field personal matter’

Ron WashingtonRon Washington resigned as manager of the Texas Rangers on Friday, citing an “off-the-field personal matter” as the reason he has chosen to leave the team. The 62-year-old said in a statement that his decision had nothing to do with the Rangers’ poor performance this season.

“Today, 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,” Washington said, via MLB.com’s TR Sullivan. “As painful as it is, stepping away from the game is what’s best for me and my family.

“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 has managed the Rangers since 2007. He became the first manager in franchise history to win a playoff series back in 2010 and later took the team to its first World Series. The Rangers lost that year and returned to the World Series again in 2011, once again coming up short.

“I deeply regret that I’ve let down the Rangers organization and our great fans,” Washington continued. “Over the past eight seasons, it’s been a privilege to be part of some of the best years in club history and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here, and for the great management, players, and coaches who have made our time here a success. Thank you for respecting my privacy.”

Washington was firmly on the hot seat this season. The Rangers are 53-87 and have been a major disappointment. Tim Bogar will serve as interim manager for the remainder of the season.

Rangers made defensive error straight out of Three Stooges (Video)

The Texas Rangers took embarrassing to a whole new level on Tuesday night with this defensive blunder committed against the New York Yankees.

Leonys Martin Alex RiosThe Rangers were down 7-4 with two outs in the top of the sixth inning when Brett Gardner hit a fly ball to right center. Alex Rios was coming over from right and thought he had it, while center fielder Leonys Martin was also tracking the ball and close to it. The ball went off Rios’ glove and caromed off Martin’s head and fell for a 3-base error for Gardner.

What happened there? Rios definitely had the ball tracked but seemed to get hesitant at the last second, likely because he sensed Martin was there. Martin said after the game he could not hear Rios calling for the ball, which resulted in them converging on the ball at the same time.

It’s one thing to have outfielders unable to make the play on a ball in the gap, but it’s another when the ball deflects off a glove and knocks a teammate in the noggin just like a “Three Stoges” skit. It’s just been that kind of season for the Rangers.

H/T Jimmy Traina

Rangers warn fans against doing the wave for safety reasons

Rangers-wave-warning

You know why the Texas Rangers are awesome? Because unlike many other teams across baseball (ahem, Red Sox, ahem), they are not afraid to admit that “the wave” has absolutely no place in an MLB ballpark. On Tuesday, the Rangers sent out yet another humorous warning urging fans to not attempt the wave for their own personal safety.

A few years back, the Rangers warned fans that doing the wave could cause a tear in their arm muscles and that any children who were caught doing it would be sold to the circus. Unfortunately, fans still refuse to take the warnings seriously.

The wave is easily my least favorite part of going to a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I’ve been to plenty of games where the wave starts in a tie game in the eighth inning and only 5% of the fans in attendance are watching the field. It has to stop, but I don’t ever expect it to.

H/T SB Nation via SI Hot Clicks

Ian Kinsler: I hope Rangers and ‘sleazeball’ GM go 0-162

Ian-Kinsler-RangersIan Kinsler is excited to start fresh with the Detroit Tigers after being traded for Prince Fielder. Unlike many players who are dealt, Kinsler is not wishing the best for his former team.

In an interview with ESPN the Magazine that was published on Tuesday, Kinsler called Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels a “sleazeball” for the way he has handled himself in recent years. For starters, Kinsler thought trading friend and former teammate Michael Young to the Phillies after the 2012 season was a huge mistake that left Kinsler with a role he disliked.

“It hurt us,” Kinsler said. “He held everything together. … I was bogged down. They wanted me to lead these young players, teach them the way to compete, when the only thing I should be worried about is how I’m performing in the game.”

The 31-year-old infielder said the Rangers asked him to move from second to first last season to make room for 19-year-old Jurickson Profar. Kinsler refused and told the team the youngster would have to earn it just like he did. By trading Kinsler, the team has now created a vacancy for Profar to fill.

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Russell Wilson taken by Rangers in Rule 5 baseball draft

russell-wilson-seahawksIf Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson has a sudden change of heart and decides playing quarterback for one of the best teams in the NFL just isn’t for him, he has a nice future lined up with the Texas Rangers. On Thursday, the Rangers selected Wilson in baseball’s Rule 5 draft.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Rule 5 draft allows teams to take minor leaguers who are not currently on 40-man rosters from other teams. Since Wilson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2010 and spent parts of two seasons in Class-A, he had the necessary amount of service time in the minor leagues to be eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

As Deadspin pointed out, the Rangers now owe the Rockies $12,000 and can keep Wilson on their Triple-A reserve list. Should he ever decide the pursuit of a Super Bowl is no longer the thrill he is looking for, Wilson can return to baseball and join the Rangers farm system.

Wilson played college baseball at NC State for three seasons and was taken in the fourth round of the MLB draft, so his baseball talent is obviously no joke. That being said, the Rangers likely selected him in the Rule 5 draft to get people like us to talk about it. If nothing else, they can now say Russell Wilson is connected to their organization.

CJ Wilson accuses Texas Rangers of giving him bad baseballs

CJ-Wilson-AngelsThe Los Angeles Angels continued their rough season on Friday night by assuring themselves a losing record with a loss to the Texas Rangers. CJ Wilson pitched fairly well for LA, but he got himself into trouble in the third inning by throwing two wild pitches, issuing a walk and hitting a batter. After the game, the left-hander blamed the baseballs.

Wilson suggested that he got a batch of baseballs in the third inning that were not properly rubbed down.

“One out of every four was rubbed, and three of every four was basically brand new,” he said, via the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. “The balls were kind of squirting around. A couple balls got away. If you’re a lefty and you hit a lefty with a slider, that’s obviously not what you are trying to do right there.

“I don’t know. All I know is that every couple balls, ‘Oh this is a good one.’ I’d have a little grip and they’d foul one off and the next one came out and it was like no, no, no. We changed more balls than we would normally change. I told the clubbie, ‘Dude these balls are getting really bad. Someone might get hit in the teeth.’ My ball moves a lot already. When the ball is slippery it’s even worse.”

If Wilson got a batch of balls that were not properly rubbed down, you would assume it was a mistake. He didn’t seem to think so.

“Are you going to call it a coincidence?” he asked. “It’s not a coincidence. Let’s be honest.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia agreed that Wilson was given a few balls that were brand new, though he stopped short of accusing the Rangers of doing it intentionally.

“We had a couple of baseballs that still were taken right out of the box, still had packing dust on them,” Scioscia said. “They weren’t rubbed up at all. So, C.J. just had to do a little more work on them to get them prepared. He didn’t say the grip was any issue, but we had a number of balls that came back that they may have taken the paper off and put them in the box.”

Wilson’s assertion that it was not a coincidence and that Texas allegedly gave him bad balls is a fairly serious accusation. The Rangers are currently fighting for a wild card spot, and that would be cheating. They could always claim it was a mistake, so there’s really no way to punish them for it. That doesn’t make it any less interesting.