Ron Washington is ready to lead the Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. The Los Angeles Angels made their hiring of Ron Washington official by holding an introductory press conference for the longtime clubhouse leader. Washington, who previously managed and guided the Texas Rangers to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, becomes just the second Black manager in Major League Baseball. 

“It’s going to take everyone pulling on the same rope throughout the whole organization to finally get to the point of success,” Washington said. “But your mindset, your commitment, and your attitude is what we’re going to get out front with in the beginning. The work ethic is going to be developed from the first day that we hit the ground.” 

Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington at his introductory press conference on Nov. 15, 2023. Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

Washington continued, “And once we start the development and the work ethic and the young kids we got here and the veterans that we have here, and the people that are in control of things inside that clubhouse, I think that as each day come and go, you’ll recognize that we’re on our way up. We are on our way up.” 

It’s easy to see why the Angels management brass liked Washington and approved him as their new field general. There’s a lot to like. For one, Washington is very good at working the room. He’s extremely charismatic. He’s funny. He’s jovial. He can also spew out his baseball knowledge like a young lad chewing on some bubble gum. 

“Nobody loves the game as much as this guy,” Angels general manager Perry Minasian said.”He is baseball, through and through. That’s what he does. That’s who he is. He loves the game. He loves people, and that’s what really drew me to him over the course of this process.”

Minasian said he examined the attributes of other great managers of the game before making the decision to roll with Washington.   

“Ron just stuck out like a sore thumb,” Minasian said. “He is the definition of respect and belief and those were the two most important qualities for me. Respect. You earn respect. And I those who’ve been around him and know what he’s about, it’s tough not to. Nobody works harder. He’s one of those guys that goes to bed thinking about it. He wakes up thinking about it. It’s really, really important to him. And he’s selfless.”    

Washington has a baseball pedigree that would make him the ideal manager for the Angels. Before his eight-year stint with Texas, Washington dived into coaching after an MLB baseball career that began with the Los Angeles Dodgers and wrapped up with the Houston Astros. 

In between the Dodgers and Astros stops, Washington also played for the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians. 

Prior to joining the Angels, Washington spent seven years working as a third base coach with the Atlanta Braves where he won a World Series championship in 2021. During his stint as manager of the Rangers, Washington piled up a 664-611 overall record for the regular season. 

Washington’s Texas teams won two American League Championships and finished first or second in the AL West Division in six straight seasons (2008-2013). Washington’s first day on the job as Angels manager was spent largely laying out his vision for the ballclub. Part of that vision is leaving any outside noise in the parking lot. 

“There will be nothing but positivity around here,” Washington blurted out. “We’ll make our way through all the negativity. There will be quite a few challenges and we won’t be afraid of that, either. So whatever…anything from the outside or anything that the game has to offer, we certainly will be prepared for it. We’re not backing down from anything. We won’t back down from anything, and we’re looking forward to the expectations that what I see in this room, there’s some joy, and there’s some passion.”     

If there was one impression from Washington’s opening presser it is the fact that the Angels manager leaves no wiggle room for folks to know who is running the show. 

“I’m so over thrilled that I have this opportunity to lead. I’m a natural-born leader,” Washington said. “I’ve been leading ever since I can remember. From a youngster to a high schooler, to a minor leaguer to a big leaguer to a coach at the big leagues, and eight years that I had as a manager in the big leagues, I’ve been leading. And I’m not afraid to lead.”