Archive for October, 2010


Ron Washington provides a valuable lesson in honesty

The definition of insanity, it has been said, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In life we all make mistakes, some bigger than others, but making a mistake is one thing. Making it worse is something else. We can’t go back in time and erase bad decisions, but what makes life rewarding is that we can choose to do things differnently and be honest about or mistakes moving forward. Perhaps no man sums this up more eloquently than Rangers manager Ron Washington who is a model of perseverance and honesty.

For those who don’t know by now last year Ron Washington failed a drug test in which he tested positive for cocaine. Washington claims that this was a one time use, and whether or not that is true is highly questionable. What is true is that Rom Washington, when given a┬áchance to lie about his usage, chose not to. Realizing that the report was going to come out sometime this season, Washington took a chance and went to owner (s)/ g.m.’s Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels and admitted his usage. Washington could have denied the report when it came out. He could have lawyered up and claimed he was using something else, maybe a codeine-based anti-histamine or something (we have all heard that one a time or two.) and Washington, who is black, could probably have gotten defensive and played the race card, and if management had fired him used the media to get back at the club. But Washington didn’t do any of that. Before the facts came out he told the truth, plain and simple, and this could provide a lesson to others, not just in baseball, but all people.

We know what happened to Pete Rose, the all-time great hitter with the Reds. Rose cheated on baseball but would not admit it. For nearly twenty years he denied allegations that he was and tore his reputation to shreds. Rose finally admitted to his gambling a few years ago, but it was too late for most people. There is now a sizable majority of baseball writers who will never vote Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame because of his blatant lying. If Rose had been honest things may have turned out differntly for him.

The Yankees also provide a text-book case of lying in baseball. The man who pitched for them in game 3 of the ALCS, and the man who would have oitched for them in game 7 had they made it that far is Andy Pettite. Pettite, an all-time great came clean about his perfromance-enhancing use two years ago and salvaged his career. His teammate Roger Clemens did not and has already become a baseball exile, a pariah, a shocking fate for one of the top five pitchers of all time. Barry Bonds is another example of a great player who just won’t come clean. He faces perjury charges later this year.

When Washington came clean Daniels and Ryan could have fired him. They would have had every right to do so. But they saw a man who cared about his profession and was honest about his mistake, and gave him a second chance. Right now that second chance is paying off big time as the Rangers are in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Washington is now regulalry tested and knows he is on a short lease, but no matter what else happens, what is happening now for Washington never would have occurred had he not taken the high road last January and come clean.

Washington’s example should be a reminder to other athletes and all people that it is not the mistakes in life that define us but what we do after the fact. No matter how terrible what you have done is the only way to move forward is to be honest with yourself and the people around you. A valuable lesson to be learned.


Jack B.