ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish hailed Ron Washington as a manager and as a person after the skipper’s abrupt resignation Friday.
“It’s difficult to comment because the manager hasn’t given a clear reason why he is resigning,” Darvish said in a statement.
“But since I joined this team, he has always been great to me. He is a great manager and a wonderful individual.”
Darvish is currently on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, and could be shut down for what is already a lost season for the Rangers. Texas (53-88) has the worst record in the majors.
Washington did not detail his resignation, only to say through the team, “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.”
Washington did give general manager Jon Daniels permission to say at a news conference that the move “was not drug-related.”
During spring training in 2010, it was disclosed that Washington had admitted to using cocaine once the previous year, but team executives stood by him. The manager got a two-year contract extension in 2012, then during spring training this year had another season added through 2015.
Tim Bogar, who is in his first season as Washington’s bench coach, will be the interim manager. Daniels said the club “most likely” would open a managerial search after the season.
“It’s obviously not exactly how you want to become a manager for the first time, especially when you take over for a really good friend,” Bogar said. “He coached me in Triple-A, he basically taught me how to get to the big leagues, and then I was a colleague.”
Third baseman Adrian Beltre said he hadn’t noticed anything different in Washington in recent weeks, the time frame offered by Daniels for when Washington’s issue arose.
“It’s difficult trying to separate what was going on with him or the team,” Beltre said. “If you see a guy not being himself or not being happy, we’ve got plenty of reasons for not being happy here. So I couldn’t pick up if something was going on with him and I have no idea.”
When asked if people should be concerned for Washington or someone in his family, Daniels again would not get into specifics. The 62-year-old Washington is married, but has no children.
“I certainly think well-wishes and thoughts for him and his family are appropriate,” Daniels said.