Ron Washington's official statement

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Here’s the full transcript of Ron Washington’s official statement, released by the Rangers following news that he tested positive for cocaine last year:

I am here today to apologize for a huge mistake I made during the first half of the season in 2009. I am not here to make excuses. There are none. I am not here to ask for sympathy. That would be asking too much.



I fully understand that I disappointed a lot of people–my family, my players, coaches, as well as the team’s leadership, especially Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels, as well as young people who may have looked up to me. I am truly sorry for my careless, dangerous, and frankly, stupid, behavior last year. Clearly, you have never seen me speak from a script before. But this is a time that I need to get the words exactly right.



Here’s the biggest question: how and why did this happen? That’s a question I have had to face in numerous sessions with counselors. I’ve learned a lot about myself personally, and I recognize that this episode was an attempt to dodge personal anxieties and personal issues I needed to confront. That was the wrong way to do it. It was self-serving, and believe me, not worth it.



I know you will ask, and so here’s the answer: this was the one and only time I used this drug. I made a huge mistake, and it almost caused me to lose everything I have worked for all of my life. Shortly after I did this, MLB notified me that I would have a routine drug test. Before even taking the test, I notified the league about the drug use. Right after that test, I told Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan about my shameful behavior. I offered them my resignation.



They asked a lot of difficult questions. Remarkably, these two men, after a lot of thought and prayer, allowed me to stay here through last season. However, they also directed me to immediately begin MLB’s drug treatment program, which is a thorough and exhaustive process, and it includes the administration of drug tests at least three times a week. I am proud to report to you that I have completed that program. I am not proud to admit this terrible error.



This morning, I talked to our players. I assured them that this will never happen again, and I asked them to forgive me. In the true spirit of a “team,” they seemed to embrace me not only as a manager but as a human being. I won’t let you down again. Please know that I will personally take on the challenge of telling young people my story and my mistake. I don’t know what form that will take, but I am committed to do that.



I am hopeful that our fans, both Rangers fans and Major League Baseball fans, will accept this heartfelt and humble attempt to say: I’m so sorry for what I did.

Matt Wieters is close to signing with the Washington Nationals

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.

Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.

Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.

Sergio Romo experienced some difficulty in the past couple of years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 11:  Sergio Romo #54 of the San Francisco Giants walks off the mound after allowing an RBI double in the ninth inning of Game Four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on October 11, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.

There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.