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.

Report: Mike Clevinger agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.