Merle Haggard recorded an ode to Ron Washington

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From the “Why Would I Make This Up?” department, here’s this.

You may be familiar with the phrase, “That’s the Way Baseball Go.” It was uttered by Rangers manager Ron Washington last season and became something of a rallying cry for the team during their first-ever World Series run. Well, now it is forever immortalized in song.

That’s right, the Rangers unveiled a song before last night’s game called “That’s the Way Baseball Go,” performed by Merle Haggard. It is a play on Haggard’s 1983 hit “That’s the Way Love Goes.”

Here is the press release from the team:

That’s the Way Baseball Go, a new song dedicated to Rangers Manager Ron Washington, was introduced before Friday’s game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The song is a modification of the 1983 Merle Haggard Grammy Award-winning #1 hit That’s the Way Love Goes and was the idea of Texas Rangers Co-Chairman Bob R. Simpson. Mr. Simpson and his wife, Janice with the assistance of Jim Hodges and Jackson Yandell of Fort Worth, wrote the lyrics to That’s the Way Baseball Go. The song was recorded by Merle Haggard last month at his ranch in Redding, CA.

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson, who have been working on this project for the last several months, have provided all of the funding for the production ofThat’s the Way Baseball Go and undertook the project as a tribute to Ron Washington and all Rangers fans.

That’s the Way Baseball Go will be available for download in the near future. The Simpsons’ share of the proceeds from the downloads will go to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. Information can also be found on texasrangers.com/foundation.

The song, which is 2:59 in length, was introduced on the Rangers video boards prior to Friday’s game. Mr. and Mrs. Simpson also presented Washington with a framed copy of the original lyrics during a pre-game ceremony.

I haven’t listened to the song yet, but I imagine it is deliciously awkward. Haggard, though? That’s pretty cool. Any other interesting manager-songwriter combos you guys can come up with? I hear Tony La Russa can’t get enough Lady Gaga.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.