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Allegations could ruin Washington – and the Rangers – for good

Just like that, anger toward one side turns to despair and a sense of betrayal toward the other.

This next column was supposed to be about how Ron Washington would end up as the next manager of the Houston Astros, likely taking Mike Maddux with him. Now, all that is almost certainly out the window.

How do you cope with hearing that someone you admired, someone you enjoyed watching for years, someone who helped bring you the best moments of your life as a sports fan might have committed the worst offense in the world in your own personal belief?

Part of me is trying to still say this can’t be true, that Ron Washington’s resignation can’t have actually been over allegations of a sexual assault. As someone who has spoken out for women’s rights, who donates to RAINN and vilifies rapists and sexual assaults vehemently, this has hit home more than anyone could possibly know. I have stood by this franchise through the worst of times on the field, but this goes so much deeper.

I stand by my belief that the chances of football players committing physical and sexual assault are much greater than that of baseball players, because the former of those sports draws in the vicious and the violent. But when there is a flat out accusation, that can’t be denied.

Of course, at the moment, there is nothing but rumor of an accusation in this case, reported by sports blogger Jaime Kelly. Lone Star Ball’s Adam Morris quickly relayed the story to Yahoo Sports, citing Kelly as “a credible source.” But no official police report has been publicly disseminated. One Twitter follower of mine with a history in background investigations did track down a report filed on a Ronald Washington in Everett/Snohomish County, Washington in May, but notes she couldn’t input a date of birth or track down our Wash’s middle name for possible further verification. (She also says to put little stock in her search, admitting it to being done by an amateur).

Two women who’s judgment I trust as much as anyone are also skeptical to outright believe these charges until more evidence comes out. I guess that makes them bigger people than me.

Because I was taught to expect any claim of sexual assault to be true. Any claims that prove to be false are so rare that to assume innocence in any case is just asking to be a victim blamer, which is a huge problem in this country, as Steubenville and Maryville proved.

I’ve seen accusations be debunked in the past. Michael Irvin’s accuser in 1997 was made to admit she made the whole thing up. Whether I want to believe it or not, prosecutors determined Ben Roethlisberger’s accuser could not provide enough proof. Heck there are people who believe Mike Tyson was falsely accused and would never have been convicted had he not used a tax attorney for his defense lawyer.

But I stood by my belief that people like Ray Rice were guilty. Admittedly in Rice’s case, there was a good amount of evidence to begin with, and when more was revealed exposing him, there was vindication for me.

But now this has surfaced. And for me, how can I assume innocence in this case just because it’s the manager of my team in my favorite sport?

There are still questions. If this incident did occur in April as some are speculating, why did it take this long for just this much to come from it?

Regardless, the only way out of this is the unlikely chance that Washington becomes completely absolved in all of this. Because otherwise, not only would one of the people long believed to be one of the good guys have committed one of the worst offenses possible, the Rangers organization could be in the same guilty position of trying to cover it up as the Baltimore Ravens have been.

And that is something I don’t think I could ever forgive them for. I honestly don’t know right now if I could ever enjoy Rangers baseball again.

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