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.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?