Hurd votes for Wash as manager
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| By eyleenn on Monday, July 04, 2005 - 12:58 pm:|
but probably not of the A's...
RICK HURD: INSIDE BASEBALL
Guillen's success aids Washington
HE IS AT the ballpark so early, teaching his craft to whomever wants to learn it, that you'd think Ron Washington doesn't have much time to keep an eye on what's going on elsewhere. But yes, he does give the standings an occasional glance.
And one team, Washington acknowledged recently, catches his eye as much as any other. That it's the Chicago White Sox, the team currently salting away the American League Central despite losing two of three games to the A's this past weekend at McAfee Coliseum, is hardly surprising.
The White Sox pitch well and play good defense. They run the bases with daring abandon. They bunt and hit-and-run. They refuse to sit back and wait for a three-run home run.
In short, they are built in the mode of Ozzie Guillen, their fiery, smart, honest-to-a-fault manager.
Guillen is a former major-league shortstop who had a nice career forged as much by his brains as by his talent, an anti-political, say-anything type who by sheer will of his personality has prevented the White Sox from resuming the flat look that was for so long their persona.
Guillen's success can't help but make one think that Washington deserves a chance. Fiery, smart, honest to a fault, the A's third base coach is a former big-league shortstop who had a decent career forged more by his brains than his talent. He's an anti-political, say-anything type who by sheer teaching genius has turned more than one fielding butcher into a beauty.
"They are very much alike in that way," White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye said.
Dye should know. He is thriving under Guillen this season, providing the more-than-adequate thunder that seemed to be missing during his three full seasons with the A's. Washington was among Dye's staunchest supporters during the tough times.
"Both of them are going to tell it to you exactly how it is. You may not like what you hear, but that's how it is," Dye said. "They've both played the game before. They both understand what players go through and how hard the game can be. They both stick by what they say. They don't play games."
Now, that first part may play perfectly with today's ballplayer, the majority of whom spend much of their lives hearing exactly what people think they want to hear. The last part, however, may not play as well with general managers, some of whom in this Moneyball era view their skippers as nothing more than middle management.
For that reason, it's unlikely Washington will ever be considered a perfect fit for the A's. Nor does he ever figure to benefit from his popularity as a player anywhere else, the way Guillen did when Chicago finally decided, after initial hesitation, that Guillen was a perfect fit for that franchise.
That Washington has spent only two seasons managing -- for the New York Mets' Single-A Columbia Bombers in 1993 and 1994 -- doesn't help his cause, either.
Thus, Washington probably will need the A's to stump for him should his managerial aspirations ever have a chance to reach fruition (something GM Billy Beane has said he wouldn't be afraid to do). Worse yet, Washington would have to do some of it himself.
In other words, he would have to play the game, and it's pretty clear how much Washington likes to do that.
"A lot of times in this game, it's who you know," A's second baseman Mark Ellis said. "And Wash isn't one to say, 'Look at me.' But he knows the game as well as anybody. He teaches it as well as anybody."
At heart, Washington is probably more a teacher than a manager. Often, he can be found hitting grounders to ball boys and giving them fielding tips more than three hours before a game. He's often one of the last to leave a clubhouse.
Managing would force Washington to leave a lot of that behind.
"I know he has the desire to (manage)," A's shortstop Bobby Crosby said. "He knows the game, he has a passion for the game. He's a former player. ... Everything from him is straightforward. ... But me being selfish, I hope he doesn't go anywhere."
Selfishly, let's hope the White Sox continue to win and that Guillen continues to garner publicity.
And let's hope his success will open doors for the brains, passion and personality that are similar to his.
That way we may someday see Washington running a team, and what a lesson that could prove to be.
| By washfan on Monday, July 04, 2005 - 01:18 pm:|
If Macha goes at season's end (One can only hope) Wash should AT LEAST be promoted to Bench Coach so that we can keep his expertise in-house.
| By kevink on Monday, July 04, 2005 - 08:52 pm:|
Is bench coach a promotion over third base coach?
I always thought 3B coach was kind of like next in line behind manager. In fact managers used to manage from the 3B coaching box a while back.
| By asch on Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - 02:00 pm:|
I think Wash is better suited TEACHING which is more of a 3b coach, than bench coach - which is more of a 'look up stats' guy.
I think it would be really fun to have him as manager.
The good news is, I don't think too many teams will be targeting him, which is a shame, but good for us. But only good in that he's here - unfortunately, he'll never be a manager for us.
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - 03:15 pm:|
In the second part of the latest Billy Beane interview at AN.com, Blez asks BB directly if he sees Macha as being here long-term. Billy pretty much dances around the answer. If only ...
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - 09:57 pm:|
BTW, Part 3 of Blez's interview is up today.