Ron Washington Won’t Dwell on Josh Hamilton Any Longer and Doesn’t Take it Personal that He Signed with the AngelsFebruary 19, 2013 – 8:30 am by Steven Cuce
The Texas Rangers are looking past their late-season collapse last season and rightfully so. It’s a new year in spring training of 2013. The talk of baseball continues to be Josh Hamilton leaving the Rangers, and it didn’t help matters when Josh Hamilton claimed that the Dallas-Fort Worth area is not a ‘true baseball town.’
Here’s Washington’s take on all matters involving his former power hitter/outfielder.
Ron Washington joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas with RAGE to discuss getting over the Texas Rangers’ late-season collapse last year, losing the home run power of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz’s alleged involvement in PEDs, the qualities he likes about A.J. Pierzynski, Hamilton’s struggles at the end of the past season and not being bothered by Hamilton signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
How long did it take you to get over the late season collapse against the Oakland Athletics and losing the wild card play-in game to the Baltimore Orioles?
“I think until the playoffs was over you had to sit there after being in it the past two years. You had to sit there and look at other teams in the playoffs and I did that. I certainly watched them until the end because I am a baseball fan. I’m not just a manager of a ball club. I am a baseball fan. Once baseball ended and the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, I think a couple of more days and I was over it. I was ready to prepare for the next year.”
Talk about filling the roles of lost players like Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli?
“We did a good job of trying to fill it the best way we can. If the nucleus we have here continues to get better and with the people we added, I don’t think we will miss a beat. Our intention is to continue to fight to get back to the World Series and win one.”
Nelson Cruz has been accused of allegedly being involved with PEDs. Have you talked with him? What’s his status for day one of spring training?
“Well I certainly expect him to be our right fielder. Anything other than what I just said, until the investigation is over, I really don’t have much else to say about it.”
What do you love about A.J. Pierzynski?
“I like his attitude. I love the edge that he brings. I like the fact that he upsets the opposing teams with the way he goes about his business, but it’s all about one thing, winning ball games, and that’s what we are about here in Texas is winning ball games, and we brought in a guy that’s about winning ball games.”
Have you looked back and figured out why Josh Hamilton struggled so much at the end of last season?
“No, I haven’t looked back and put my finger on it, but that little spell he went through — we seen him go through that spell many years prior to last year simply because the stage he was on last year at the end of the year, it got magnified and the fans showed their displeasure. And they have the right to show their displeasure on anything that goes on outside out there with the managers, coaches and players and that’s exactly what they did, but you know what, Josh Hamilton did a lot for us. He really did. He was a great player for us for the years that he was here. In this game of baseball there comes a time in the game when things just don’t go the way you want them to go. You can’t take away the body language that people saw. They just showed their displeasure with him, but right now he is no longer a Texas Ranger.”
You said Josh Hamilton did a lot for the Rangers, but you did a lot to help Josh Hamilton when he was with the Rangers. Did you take it personally when Hamilton signed with the arch enemy, the Angels?
“No. I do not take that personal. I did my job. That was my job, to try to keep our players focused as much as we can, and the time that Josh and I spent together, he wasn’t the only one learning anything. I learned something, too, in just talking with him and being able to get him through the issues he may have had, but that’s what we do as managers and coaches and teachers in this game. I certainly wish that he would have stayed here, but he chose to go someplace else with his family. I wish he and his family all the best and the Texas Rangers will move on and get focused on what they have to do in 2013.”