The LA Angels have officially announced that they have a new manager in Ron Washington after relieving Phil Nevin of his duties after some time. The hiring should bring in a new vision for the team as there is uncertainty with its future in terms of players such as Shohei Ohtani.
Washington is the fifth manager of the franchise since 2018 which has signaled ever changing thoughts about how the club is being led. He last managed the Texas Rangers and led them to back to back World Series appearances in which both teams came just short of winning it all. He will now get another shot with the Angels in an effort the turn the team's misfortunes around.
The reason to love the hiring
There is actually a lot to love about the hiring as Washington brings with him an experience that has been praised by his former team, the Atlanta Braves. According to an article from The Athletic (subscription required), Braves president of baseball operations, Alex Anthopoulos, stated "He's everything you could want. He deserves the opportunity. He's excited. Obviously, I'm excited for him. It's a huge loss for us. And I emphasize that in caps, bold, italicized, all of it. A huge, huge void."
This praise comes as Angels general manager, Perry Minasian, has worked with Washington during their times with the Braves as Minasian was the assistant general manager. Ron Washington is also known for his game drills that help players get better defensively which is one of the points that Minasian has been trying to cover with his acquisitions of guys like Jose Iglesias and Andrew Velasquez.
The reason to doubt the hiring
Of course, every manager comes with some criticism after some games under their belt and Washington is no different. Not only has he been known to have an "old school" mindset amid the era of sabermetrics, he has also had some troubled past that the Angels are painfully aware of.
Back in 2009, Ron Washington fell to the use of cocaine to which he admitted and reconciled with Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers. The Angels were caught up in their own mess with former Rangers player Josh Hamilton, who relapsed into drug use when he was with the team.
The Angels promptly moved away from Hamilton after the news broke and he was never able to bounce back from it performance-wise. That was then, but this is now and Angels owner, Arte Moreno, seems poised to let the past be the past and focus on what Washington could bring to the team that is desperately trying to get back to the postseason. Hopefully there isn't more bad press for an Angels organization that really can't afford it.