67-year-old Ron Washington has been apart of professional baseball for half a century, dating back to when he was drafted in July of 1970 by the Kansas City Royals. He then spent ten years in the minors and ten more in the majors before becoming a coach for the New York Mets.
Fifteen years later, Washington received his first managerial gig with the Texas Rangers, where he thrived, becoming the first African-American manager to make it to the World Series, and he did so twice. That led to him earning multiple contract extensions, but in 2014 he resigned due to personal reasons.
It wasn’t long before he was back on the diamond, however. Oakland hired him as their infield coach in 2015, and in 2016, the Braves poached him to become their third base coach after he nearly became Atlanta’s manager. Washington has long been regarded as one of the best at grooming a defensive infield, and his effectiveness can be seen nightly when the Braves take the field. As a result, teams have begun to look at him as a serious managerial candidate once again, and he was a finalist for the Padres job this offseason, but they opted to go the younger route.
With so many managing positions now open following the fallout of the sign sealing scandal, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Washington’s name is brought up, and the longtime coach has made it clear he wants to be the head man once again. In an interview today with the MLB Network, he said, “I really would love to manage again, but my phone hasn’t rung. I certainly would like to get back into that dugout and lead a ballclub possibly back to a World Series” (via Ken Rosenthal).
Once you start creeping into your 70s, you are no longer the sexy hire among fanbases. With that being said, Washington is among the most deserving candidates in all of baseball for a managing gig. And as much as it would hurt the Braves and their fans, it’s only fair that he gets another shot. If it doesn’t happen this offseason, it should come in the very near future.