Digging around for some Ron Washington links, info, etc.
We have this, from a couple of weeks ago:
"I would say at least 20 of the guys in this clubhouse wouldn't mind seeing [Macha] gone," one veteran said as the A's gathered their belongings and prepared to migrate to their off-season homes.
"Guys were walking around wondering what their role was. Guys were waiting to hear something. Anything. And he didn't give it to them."
Which brings us to Ron Washington, for whom silence is foreign. Washington's reputation is of a man who tells people what they need to hear, if not what they want to hear. He doesn't mince words, yet he exudes concern and support.
Put simply, Washington deserves to be the first man in line for the job. Though others on staff, particularly Bob Geren and Rene Lachemann, must also be considered, "Wash" stands out like a jewel in the sand.
"I hope they look at Wash," said Frank Thomas, who reiterated his desire to return to Oakland for at least two more years. "The guys really like him. He knows the game. And if Wash needs to get on somebody's ass, he'll do it. And they'll listen."
During the momentary parting of the ways between the A's and Macha last October, several players tried to point Beane in the direction of Washington. He has forged a bond with pretty much everyone who takes the field, and many who simply work in the same building.
Though Macha ingratiated himself with some, especially his coaching staff, notably pitching coach Curt Young, the overall view was of a man detached from the reality of his clubhouse. And of a man who, as one non-playing employee recently put it, "just doesn't know how to treat people."
If Macha comes across as cerebral, cool and detached, Washington is the antidote, warm and refreshingly genuine. A straight-up, old-school sage.
A team meeting was called last week, before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Though Thomas requested the gathering, it probably should have been called by Macha. Wash likely would have called it sooner.
Beane acknowledged Washington would be granted an interview, but the GM also said he would be deliberate in his search for the next A's manager.
Simple question: What's left to ask Washington?
Beane and Wash go back more than two decades. Washington has been a member of the A's coaching staff for 11 seasons. Macha, and Art Howe before him, heartily endorsed Wash as a manager. Any interview between Billy and Wash would seem to serve as a clarification session, if not a formality.
Why not Washington in Oakland? Columnist Glenn Dickey offers this:
Beane hasn't said this, but my educated guess is that he's afraid Washington is too popular. It's easy for a coach to be popular with the players, especially one like Washington, who has done wonders in improving the defense of the A's infielders. But a coach doesn't have to make the difficult decisions on playing time, which is where manager-player conflicts start. Washington can certainly make those tough decisions, but it would probably be easier with another club, where he has no history with the players. It wouldn't be easy to make that transition with the A's.
Evan Grant has an article up on the hiring already, with this nice quote from Washington:
"My main goal is to simply let those guys be who they are," Washington said after his interview. "I'm not trying to be a miracle worker. I'm going to stress fundamentals and communication, and then I'm going to put some names on the lineup card and let them be who they are."
And you can see Washington's offical A's bio here.
If anyone comes across any get articles about Washington, interviews, etc., please link them in the comments.
A few thoughts...everyone here is pretty familiar with the culture Billy Beane has cultivated in Oakland, and I think it is fair to say that Washington fits in there pretty well, or else he wouldn't have been there for eleven years.
I think Hillman now ends up in San Diego, as their manager.
Update [2006-11-6 0:59:45 by Adam J. Morris]: -- The Athletic's Nation thread about the Rangers hiring Washington. A's fans definitely seem bummed out that they are losing him...