The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




From A-Town to Anaheim

Beloved Braves Coach Seizes His Opportunity.
Todd Kirkland
Ron Washington has been the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves since October of 2016. He’s also coached in Oakland for a couple of years, and even managed the Texas Rangers from 2006-14. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/SB Nation via Getty Images)

Now that the Major League Baseball season has ended and the offseason is getting underway, the Atlanta Braves approach winter with several questions to answer. The most recent of their uncertainties will be how the team replaces their now former Third Base coach, Ron Washington. 

The Los Angeles Angels entered November looking to replace their manager, Phil Nevin, who took over when they fired Joe Maddon in June of 2022. After interviewing the beloved Atlanta assistant on Nov. 7, the organization made the hiring official the next day.

A report from ESPN Correspondent Jeff Passan announces the Los Angeles Angels hire of Ron Washington on Wednesday Nov. 8. The news broke only a day after the two parties interviewed on Nov 7. (Jack Thurmond)

Washington, or as Braves Country calls him, Wash, is no stranger to the managerial job. From 2006-14, he managed the Texas Rangers and led them to five straight winning seasons from 2009-13, including back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. 

Since joining Atlanta’s coaching staff in 2014, the then-former manager has been pivotal to their recent success. Former MLB Pitcher Pete Smith said that the coach’s dedication to the sport gave energy for the team to feed from. 

“I’ve seen him firsthand training with the players in the infield. They’re out on the field doing their drills three hours before the game … Not taking anything from the coaches I played with, they were all great. Wash just goes above and beyond.” – Pete Smith, Braves Pitcher (1987-93) 

In Atlanta, Washington’s skill as a mentor helped build and bring the best out of infielders, such as stars Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies. 

Now that the erstwhile skipper has seized his chance at a managerial seat again, Braves Country faces the daunting task of finding a worthy substitute before the season opens in April.  

General Manager Alex Anthopoulos said it is a task that is easier said than done. At the MLB GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, he stated that Atlanta cannot replace a guy like Washington, drawing comparisons to Los Angeles Dodgers Broadcaster Joe Davis when he “followed” the legendary Vin Scully. 

Fans of the team, however, remain optimistic about the direction their club is heading regardless of the blow of losing Washington deals. James Dykes, who has supported the team for eight years, has no concern about them regressing from the coach’s withdrawal. 

“Washington is a good third base coach, but coaching is useless if the players don’t apply his lessons.” – James Dykes on Washington’s departure and its impact on the Braves 

In the meantime, Braves Country has thought of who they believe should step in and take the rejuvenated skipper’s place. 

Frank Silva, who has watched and backed the franchise since 1981, wants the team to try and bring in a former player to fill the void. His nominee is St Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Shortstop Ozzie Smith. 

On the other hand, Pete Smith said the franchise should look within itself for its answer, citing its bounty of guys capable of coaching professionally. He would love to see the organization’s Hall of Fame Third Baseman Chipper Jones take a crack at the job. 

Although Anthopoulos has declared that Washington’s departure is a gaping loss for his organization, fans of the franchise remain hopeful through the looming uncertainty of replacing their coach.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Vanguard

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of North Georgia. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jack Thurmond
Jack Thurmond, Staff Writer
Hello there! My name is Jack Thurmond. This is my third year at the University of North Georgia, and I am studying communications to become a sports journalist. I joined the Vanguard because it gives me the window to experience things I typically would not get to.
Donate to Vanguard

Comments (0)

All Vanguard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *