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Washington's Return to Arlington Prompts Mixed Feelings



    Washington's Return to Arlington Prompts Mixed Feelings
    Getty Images
    PHOENIX, AZ: Third Base Coach Ron Washington of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 27, 2006, at Papago Park in Phoenix. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

    A drug user, philanderer and quitter isn't usually a hero.

    But Tuesday night in Arlington I’m betting Ron Washington makes that tricky transition. You will cheer him, right?

    The winningest manager in Rangers’ history returns tonight as an assistant for the Oakland A’s. He won’t be formally introduced over the public address system and he won’t be in uniform during the game. But he'll be on the field during batting practice and fans will find Wash and …

    Remember him for the 664 wins and back-to-back World Series trips in 2010-11?

    Remember him for using cocaine during the season in 2009 and then abruptly resigning last Sept. 5 before admitting to being unfaithful to his wife?

    Remember him for both?

    Difficult for me to separate person from profession. I knew Washington a little from various interviews, stories and radio shows. And I was always blown away by his relentless enthusiasm and optimism. We'll never forget him running in the dugout, making decisions with his gut or leading Texas to within one strike of a championship. It was impossible not to like him.

    But as the man in charge of leading my favorite baseball team and paid handsomely for making correct decisions, he was an unequivocal failure. It’s impossible to like him.

    Washington the manager represents the best memories in Rangers’ history. Washington the man represents the worst decisions in Rangers’ history.

    I’ll cherish the memories. But I can’t cheer the man.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.