Angels’ Ron Washington Eager To ‘Run The West Down’
At an introductory press conference Wednesday, new Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington said that he was prepared at age 71 to take on another rebuilding project. In his first managerial stint in nearly a decade, he said he was eager to take the helm again.
“If you remember now — I was in Texas, and guess what we did? We ran the Angels down,” Washington told a large conference room of media members, team employees and current and former players. “Now I’m in California, with the Anaheim Angels — well, the Los Angeles Angels. I’ll get that in my head. Once we get things together, we get these guys together in spring training and start to work, our whole focus is gonna be to run the West down. And you can take that to the bank and deposit it.”
When Washington accepted the job to become manager of the Rangers in 2007, the team was in the doldrums of the A.L. West. Though he went 75-87 in his first season, his teams improved for five consecutive years and went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. In eight seasons with the club, he compiled a 664-611 overall record. He later accepted a position as the third base coach of the Atlanta Braves, where he became a fan favorite and won his first World Series ring in 2021.
Next year, Washington will officially take over an Angels team in a similarly dreadful position to the Rangers in those early years. Even with two-way star Shohei Ohtani and perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout on the roster in 2023, the team only went 73-89 and missed the postseason. With Ohtani entering free agency, it is unlikely that he will return.
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Trout is also entering the final years of his career, exacerbating the Angels’ need to find a new identity. The team has flown through managers since parting ways with longtime club leader Mike Scioscia in 2018. For now, Washington is simply happy to be receiving another opportunity. The hard work will come later.
“The belief never wavered,” Washington said when asked if he thought he would ever become a manager again. “You never know when you’re gonna get an opportunity to lead, to be a manager. You never know that. Even though I left Texas the way it happened, I still had a lot to give. I still was able to make a difference. So what I did was kept myself relevant. I kept making a difference wherever I was.”
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