The Los Angeles Angels officially welcomed in Ron Washington as the franchise’s manager on Wednesday, signing him to a two-year contract through the 2025 season.
The baseball-lifer spent his last seven years as the Atlanta Brave’s third base coach, but joins the Angels staff with an opportunity to build them up with his own view. Washington has left quite the impression with those he’s met around Major League Baseball, being known as one of the best teacher’s of the game.
Filling out his coaching line was on Washington’s early to-do list, hiring Eric Young Sr., Ryan Goins, and some other rumored names. Of which was Torii Hunter, who despite early reports, won’t be joining the Angels as the team’s first base coach.
Hunter recently discussed his relationship with the new Angels manager, citing the positive aspects of what he’ll bring to the organization, per Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“I always respected him,” Hunter said Monday. “He was always imparting something on me, and he was on the other team. He always gave me something to inspire me.
“If anybody is fit for that job, it’s Ron Washington.”
Hunter also interviewed for the club’s managerial position prior to the Angels opting to go with Washington. It would have been his first real taste of managing in MLB, a missed spot that isn’t weighing on the former MLB outfielder:
“I was interviewed for the managerial job,” he said. “I didn’t get it. It’s cool.
“I thank the Angels for allowing me to get interviewed.”
Hunter previously spoke on how his impact to baseball goes well-beyond just coaching, but teaching young players many pivotal aspects of life, which coincides with his deep pride in mentoring opportunities.
He’s been present at Angels Spring Training camps, and if the relationship continues as it has, there should be a role for him in the organization in a similar capacity.
Angels manager Ron Washington commits to winning culture
During his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Washington discussed the status of the Angels as an organization, highlighting key pieces of how he’ll manager going forward.
The Angels haven’t been in a position to compete in the AL West, but now that the last two World Series titles belong to the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, the bar is quite high.
“Once we get things together and we get these guys together in spring training, our whole focus is gonna be to run the West down and you can take that to the bank and deposit it,” Washington said on Wednesday.
His entire focus is on building the Angels up to be a contender, but the mountain is still quite high.
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