The greatest revelation of the postseason — so far — has been Ron Washington. Just by being himself, Washington, the Rangers’ manager, has been the stand-up star of the pregame and postgame conferences, normally a dreary operation.
Washington talks a bit more than most managers do in these stilted interviews. He explains himself and his sport more than most managers dare. And he is comfortable with the current fad of Rangers fans quoting his pithy street-patois observation: “That’s the way baseball go.”
Baseball did not go so well for the Rangers on Wednesday as the surging Giants took the first game of the World Series in front of a delighted home crowd. They stunned Cliff Lee in a sloppy 11-7 victory that surely had people in New York giving thanks that the public-spirited barons of Cablevision and Fox managed to keep the game off the air.
Heading into the long march of the postseason, I knew almost nothing about Washington except for his positive test for cocaine in the summer of 2009, and how he had to regain the respect of his players and the game.
Like most labels, that was far too limiting. After hearing Washington during the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, I found myself saying: “Who is this guy? And why is he so nice?”