BREAKING: Ron Washington resigns as Rangers manager, citing an “off-the-field personal matter”

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The Rangers have had an awful season, but we weren’t expecting this: Ron Washington has resigned as the team’s manager. Tim Bogar has been named interim manager.

Washington cited an “off-the-field personal matter” as the reason for his resignation. He said in a statement that the matter is “in no way related to the disappointing performance of the team this season.” The entire statement from Washington can be read below. The Rangers will hold a press conference at 3:30PM Central time.

The Rangers are 53-87 this season after a string of major injuries to major starts. Overall, however, Washington is 664-611 since taking the helm before the 2007 season. He has led the Rangers to two American League pennants and came within a strike of winning the 2011 World Series. The Rangers have won the AL West twice during his tenure and finished second four other times, making the playoffs three times in all.

In early 2010, it was revealed that Washington tested positive for cocaine in the first half of the 2009 season. There is no suggestion that the current personal matter is related to that in any way. We’ll just have to wait and see what has motivated his sudden resignation.

Here is the entire statement from Washington:

“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.   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.

“I deeply regret that I’ve let down the Rangers organization and our great fans. 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.”

 

UPDATE: The Rangers have not said the reason for Washington’s resignation, but Jon Daniels just said that it was not drug-related.

MLB suspends Tim Anderson for using the n-word

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This is weird.

As you no doubt recall, on Wednesday White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson hit a two-run home run off of Royals starter Brad Keller. Anderson celebrated by throwing his bat back towards his dugout. The next time Anderson stepped to the plate Keller threw a fastball at him. The benches emptied. Keller and Anderson were ejected, as was White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

Why Anderson was ejected was something of a mystery. He did not charge the mound. He did not throw a punch and he did not shove anyone or anything. At most you figure he said something intemperate and, sure, saying intemperate things can sometimes get you ejected. Only sometimes, of course, as many a blue streak-swearing manager has gotten a pass as long as he doesn’t say some magic words “Bull Durham” taught us about. But that’s usually the end of that.

MLB just announced via press release that Keller has been suspended for five games for throwing at Anderson. We’ve argued that that’s too light a sentence for pitchers in the past, but let’s leave that aside for now. What’s interesting is that Anderson has been suspended too. For one game.

Why? Major League Baseball’s press release merely says “for his conduct after the benches cleared.” Which isn’t very helpful as, again, there was nothing apparent in his conduct that seemed to warrant a suspension. Before the release came out, however, Jeff Passan reported that it was “language”:

I can’t recall a player ever being suspended merely for “language” before. Guys drop F-bombs and say aggressive things to one another fairly often when tempers flare, but that’s not the stuff of suspensions. What has been the stuff of suspensions — two games, specifically — are homophobic slurs, with players such as Kevin Pillar and Matt Joyce, among others paying the price for saying such things. There has been no report at all, however, that Anderson said such a thing. And, if he did, why would he only get one game?

There’s gotta be more to this. A player getting one game just for cussing makes no sense. If we hear any more about it, we’ll certainly provide an update.

UPDATE: And here it is:

Again, specifics definitely matter, and I presume we’ll get them soon, but I strongly suspect that this is a case where Anderson, who is black, used a word that is historically acceptable when used by and among black people and always unacceptable when used by non-black people. If that is the case, MLB has thrown itself into the insanely controversial and likely indefensible position of presuming that it can and should police a black person’s use of that term. I hope I’m wrong about this, but I feel like I’m not.

UPDATE: Nope, I’m not.

Bold move, MLB. But not a wise one I don’t think.

And it goes without saying that you all had best mind yourself in the comments on this one.