Ron Washington resigns as Rangers’ manager

ARLINGTON, Texas –– The most successful manager in the history of the Texas Rangers stunned his players Friday when he announced his resignation after nearly eight seasons as the team’s manager.

Ron Washington met with the Rangers’ front office Friday morning and the talked to the team early in the afternoon before leaving.

Washington did not speak to the media but did release a statement.

"Today I have submitted my resignation from the job I love – managing the Rangers – in order to devote my full attention to addressing an off-the-field personal matter. As painful as it is, stepping away is what’s best for me and my family."

Tim Bogar, who was hired as the bench coach before the season, will coach the Rangers for the final 22 games with Bobby Jones serving as the bench coach.

What the personal matter that led to Washington’s decision isn’t known publicly. Washington failed a drug test in 2009 but his resignation had nothing to do with drugs according to general manager Jon Daniels. A source said that the decision also had nothing to do with Washington’s health.

"This is in no way related to the disappointing performance of the team this season. We were already discussing 2015 and looking forward to getting the Rangers back to postseason contention," Washington’s statement read.  "I deeply regret that I’ve let down the Rangers organization and our great fans. Over the past eight seasons, it’s been a privilege to be part of some of the best years in club history and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here, and for the great management, players, and coaches who have made our time here a success.  Thank you for respecting my privacy."

While the news caught the clubhouse by surprise, that wasn’t the case for Daniels. Daniels said the club had discussed the matter with Washington over the last few weeks. The decision was finalized Friday.

Daniels said the Rangers had intended to bring Washington back in 2015 despite the club having the worst record in baseball.  

Washington was under contract for the 2015 season. 

"It’s not an on-field matter," Daniels said. "And while we’re disappointed, we accept Ron’s decision and are grateful to him again personally and professionally for his contributions to the organization and to the community for what has really been a record-setting and historic eight-year run as a manager of the club. A lot of firsts a lot of records, a lot of tremendous moments that we’ve stood together and an organization and as a fan base and we’re very, very grateful for all of those things."

Daniels and owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson met with the media at 3:30 Friday. That was about 30 minutes after Washington came into the clubhouse in a suit and told the team he was resigning.

No one saw it coming.

"I thought he was coming to tell us ‘Hey we’ve got a certain amount of games left and let’s finish strong,’" pitcher Derek Holland said. "To hear he’s no longer with us it crushed me. It was kind of quick. I wish he had more time with us, especially myself.  I would have loved to have a moment at least to say goodbye to him."

The coaching staff also had no idea the news was coming. Bogar got choked up when talking about what Washington meant to his career. Pitching coach Mike Maddux, who has stood alongside Washington the dugout for the last six seasons, was also taken aback.

"Shock," Maddux said. "It wasn’t good. I came to the ballpark in a good mood and it went to a sad mood right away. We’ve lost a great manager, a great coach and more importantly a great friend. We’ll miss him. Wash is a strong person. We’ll see him again. Soon."

Daniels said the club hasn’t had any discussions about Washington, 62, working with the club again in another capacity.

Washington came to the Rangers in 2007 and the team increased its win total in each of his first five seasons as manager. Under Washington the Rangers went to the World Series twice in 2010 and 2011. He became the club’s all-time leader in wins by a manager last season and leaves with 664 wins in nearly eight seasons.