Throughout the Atlanta Braves’ run of six playoff appearances, they have been fortunate to maintain the continuity of their coaching staff. That is changing this offseason as Ron Washington and Eric Young Sr. are departing for the Angels while bullpen coach Drew French is heading to Baltimore to take over as their new pitching coach.
Washington met with the media Monday at the Winter Meetings to discuss his new role as manager of the Angels. He also talked a bit about his time in Atlanta.
“That I made a difference. That’s all. That I made a difference. Every single day that I was there I made a difference,” Washington said after being asked how he would like to be remembered for his time with the Braves.
“I didn’t cheat anyone every single day that I was there, and I didn’t let the players that I was around cheat each other every day that I was there. So that’s what I want them to remember me by. I made a difference. I made a difference. It was the players that did it, but I made a difference.”
Washington joined the Braves prior to the 2017 season. He built strong bonds will many of the Atlanta’s young players as they advanced to the major leagues, particularly with second baseman Ozzie Albies. Washington said that he had a conversation with Albies after he was hired by the Angels.
“The main conversation that I had with Ozzie was one guy don’t run any show. I don’t care how good he is. One guy can’t do it, Washington said. “Okay. I’m gone, but the winner in those guys is still there. That’s why you teach and you help people to be self-sufficient, and you never stop teaching them so they can be self-sufficient. The umbilical cord has been cut.”
“Now, all of the wisdom and all the time we spent together, they have to use it on each other and not let anybody come there and uproot their winning ways, Washington added. “Not let anyone come up in there and change the work ethic and the preparation that it took for them to sustain the way they’ve sustained in the last seven or eight years.”
Washington also said that he would be there if any of his former players needed him or had questions.
“That’s the type of conversations we had, and I was on the other end trying to make them understand. They don’t need me. I’m here available if they have questions, but they know how to win. And they don’t let one person stop them from being what they are and who they are, just like one person cannot control the game of baseball. It will continue to move no matter who it is.”