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Texas Rangers’ Ron Washington Tested Positive for Drug Use During Successful 2009 Campaign

March 17, 2010

I hate drugs.

Plain and simple.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

However you want to say it, there are few things that are dumber to me than doing drugs.  There was a time when we didn’t know what some of the effects of certain drugs were, so I guess I can see why people did it; because it felt good, and they didn’t know it was bad.

But we don’t live in that world anymore, and anyone who does drugs is just plain stupid.  Whether it is fair or not, people that are in the public eye may be even more stupid as their actions are constantly analyzed.

It was revealed today through that Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine last season.  In the midst of the most successful season in years he was snorting coke.

I love Washington, and I have since day one, but that was just stupid of him.

We all make mistakes in life, and so I am willing to forgive him, just as I would hope others will forgive me when I make mistakes, but I just don’t get it.

Having never been a professional athlete or coach I have no idea what it is like to deal with that pressure, but there is absolutely nothing I can think of that would make me consider taking drugs.

In a situation like this it is important to move beyond the action and see how the person responds.  Washington did exactly what he should have done, at least in my opinion.

After being tested he contacted the commissioner’s office and told them he would likely test positive.  This automatically put him into a program with increased testing as well as counseling.  Even if the test came back negative he still had to go through this.

The test came back positive, and the Rangers’ organization was informed.  This occurred only a month after Washington had his 2010 option exercised, but the team decided to stick by their manager and did not fire him.

In response to the release of the story Washington said, “Any attempt to try to explain it is going to sound like excuses.  There is no right way to explain something wrong, and I did wrong. Was it tension? Maybe. Anxiety?”

Like it or not, this is the reality of it.  He is a grown man that made a huge mistake, but he has manned up to it. 

The reason that he decided to use cocaine is not really relevant as long as it was a one time event, which this appears to be.  What matters is what he has done since then.

Since that one positive test he has never tested positive again, and he has also been through nine months of counseling.  He was recently deemed clean by his doctors and allowed to return to the normal annual testing of all non players.

In another good move he is voluntarily continuing increased testing to show that he has learned from his mistake.  I think this says a lot about his character and that he wants to not only prove it to others, but keep himself from being tempted again.

Washington is the most successful manager in Arlington since Johnny Oates, and for that reason he is quickly becoming one of the most loved managers.  This turn of events is truly sad.

Despite this mistake, I think the organization was right to stay with Washington and let him prove that this was a one time mistake.  What remains to be seen is how the team will respond to it being made public?

Based upon their response to Josh Hamilton I would expect a ton of support for their manager.  He has always been a players’ manager and now is the time for the players to return the favor and support their skipper.

Here’s hoping that Washington truly has learned his lesson and that this will be the type of adversity that unifies a team rather than one that divides them.  This team has way too much going for it, and it would be a tragedy if this tore them apart.

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