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In Ron Washington’s case, facts must win out over rumor

I must apologize to Ron Washington.

I stand by what I said in my previous piece in that if someone from my beloved Texas Rangers is revealed to have committed sexual assault/abuse, it would be extremely devastating. Abuse and violence against women is a horror that is sadly running rampant in this country with not enough being done to counteract it.

But in a huge rush of emotion, coupled with a belief that I had to prove myself to some people in showing I would be equally critical to a baseball person committing such an act as I would a football person, I made a rush to judgment based on nothing but a rumor. And that was wrong.

For now, I have no reason but to accept Wash’s explanation that his reason for resigning as Rangers manager, admitting that he did indeed “break his trust” with is wife, suggesting that an affair had been committed, and that he needs the time to step away to fix his personal situation.

Once I got down from the emotional rush of considering that someone as beloved as Washington could have committed such an act. I began to try and look things over logically. Why has there not been any official accusation from anyone? All that I heard since was none Facebook follower doing an admittedly amateurish criminal background check that turned up one complaint lodged against a Ronald Washington around the Seattle area back in May. No extra confirmation as to a middle name or a date of birth, so nothing definite that this is the same Ron Washington (which isn’t an uncommon name). And is it was our Wash, how come no charges were yet filed by the time the Rangers twiced returned to Seattle this season?

Now, I’m not going to completely look down on Jaime Kelly for posting that rumor on her Sports Scoop blog; like she later said, someone else would have posted it eventually. But I will frown on Adam Morris of Lonestarball.com for not just relaying the rumor via Yahoo Sports but feeling the need to fan the flames by calling Kelly “a credible source” and pointing out that this would explain all the secrecy. That was unnecessary information that comes off as a trial by media, as if Morris flat out said, “this is what happen, you have no choice but to believe my colleague’s words.”

What might have started as a rumor about an affair could have easily exploded into someone thinking it was an assault. The gossip channel and second-hand information do very bad things to the facts, like a sensationalized version of The Telephone Game we played as kids.

Now, there are going to be people refusing to accept all this at face value, insisting that something more has to be going on, that a simple affair is not enough for anyone to walk away from a dream job. But my friends at the Jagger Mafia summed it up best: Say the affair was indeed with someone like the Asian reporter that people are rumoring was assaulted. Media members are constantly hanging around baseball clubs, and the Asian media is around the Rangers big time thanks to Yu Darvish. Wash would not be able to avoid this person, and that would make it near impossible to stop things and regain the trust of his family. Being put in a position where he has to choose between his dream job and his family does make sense in this case.

And as far as him having lawyers with him: Whether or not an assault was actually committed, the rumors have already been spread, so seeking legal advice on how to deal with that is the right move also. If you think no one should consult legal counsel if they have never committed any wrongdoing, you need to lay off the court drama TV shows.

Could more reevaluations come forward in the doing days/weeks/months regarding this? Anything is possible.

But for now, I’m going to take what has officially come forth at face value and hope that Washington can turn his life around, which may have a better chance of happening than the Rangers turning their organization around.

And I am going to look at my own self and constantly remind him that immediately trusting rumors without fact and contributing to the spread of those rumors is shameful.


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