So Ron Washington failed a drug test for cocaine. Shame on him. But since the story broke, I’ve witnessed a man take responsibility and hone up to his mistakes better than any other sports figure of this generation. While most of these guys deny accusations for months, sometimes years, until their glass house of lies comes crumbling down, only THEN to make apologies and fess up to their misdeeds, Ron Washington submitted a dug test, notified the administrators he would likely fail it, and then proceeded to communicate with each party of interest what was going on. Wash has always been a mastermind on the field, but he showed me that he is one off of it too. This news surely would’ve outraged the media in most scenarios, but Wash has been one step ahead of the game the entire time. He’s an unproven, black manager of a non-contending team. Major League Baseball and/or the owners could have easily made an example of him, but Wash is a guy who earns respect, and I think it’s obvious that all parties involved respected the way he took responsibility for his lapse in judgment. I always suspected Wash of being a closet pothead, but now we know that third base wasn’t the only line he was handling all these years.
Here’s where I think Ron Washington is not just one, but two steps ahead of the game. He’s long been heralded a player’s coach. Guys seem to play harder for Wash – Chappy alluded to it a few months back, how the A’s demise over the last few years may very well be a direct correlation of Washington’s departure. The manager said he used cocaine once last season, and that’s what caused him to fail the test. He ran the risk of alienating himself from the owners and his ballclub. Instead, you see players like Michael Young coming to his defense. But there’s one player in that clubhouse who suddenly can relate to Wash more than anyone. That player also happens to be the team’s best player. Josh Hamilton, as everyone knows, has had his own battles with cocaine. While Washington’s incident is nothing compared to Hamilton’s years of addiction, when Rangers fans think of drug use, they won’t be zeroing in on him anymore. Wash took the heat, for lack of a better word, off of Hamilton – not that there was much, but still. The best player on the team and the manager just got that much closer on a personal level. Any time the best player on the team and the coach are on the same page, it’s a recipe for success on the field. We’ll see how it plays out, but Washington’s blunder off the field may very well be the best move he makes all season in terms of his teams’ performance on it.
Wash loves that whiiiiiiiiiiite girl.....
I’ve been searching for a solid baseball video game for awhile. And by awhile, I mean since 2007 when Electronic Arts stopped making their MVP baseball series. I tried out the 2K9 series last year, and thankfully I rented it opposed to buying it. The game was un-realistic to say the least. I also tried out The Bigs, and that one was even less like the real game, and felt more like NBA Jam (side note: I’m very excited about the new edition of Jam). Anyways, I think I’ve finally found my replacement for the EA MVP Series, and after about ten games played it is; Sony’s MLB 10 The Show.
The graphics are great, but they better be for every PS3 game. The best part about the game is obviously how much control you have over everything. The pitching is tough, and like real life the pitchers get angry, and over throw when they aren’t getting calls. It’s great how they did borderline pitches that are grazing or missing by millimeters. If your guy is on a streak of strikeouts, then when you slightly miss a corner the ump still gives it to you. It also works the other way when you can’t throw a strike, and you get squeezed on the corners having everything get called a ball. Fielding is fairly good, even though it randomly switches what player you are from time to time it usually changes you to the correct/closest person. They don’t make it super hard, and that’s a big plus, because I hate playing those games when a weak grounder ends up being an inside the park home run. Hitting is tough, but I think I’m getting the hang of it and finally not swinging at every pitch. If you square one up it’s usually out of the park. While hitting you can swing for the fence or you can use the left toggle to “go with the pitch” and spray it all over the field. All in all great gameplay, and I didn’t really scratch the surface of some of the truly cool features. I just wanted to let everyone know that if they are looking for a lifelike game this is it.
Another great feature in the franchise mode is the announcers. Yeah I know you rolled your eyes, but in this game they seem to not recycle the same phrases nearly as much. They also talk about the batters previous games. They will talk about how hot or cold they are and spit out stats like if they homered or went 3 for 3 or struck out five times. It’s pretty refreshing so far, because I don’t think I’ve really heard them repeat anything more than a couple times over about ten games. One downside is you have to listen to one of my most despised announcers, Rex Hudler. If you want to know how much I can’t stand him, read this one I wrote a little while back. Pretty good when the games can last an hour or more. Two thumbs up for the show! Oh, and so what if I only wrote this post because my hands were getting tired from playing!