Braves’ third-base coach Ron Washington proud of years managing Rangers

Braves third base coach Ron Washington chops from the stage while celebrating the World Series championship on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Houston.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Braves third base coach Ron Washington chops from the stage while celebrating the World Series championship on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Houston. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

ARLINGTON, Texas – A date with the Texas Rangers will always stand out to Braves third-base coach Ron Washington.

“There’s not a day that I don’t look at the box scores,” he said, “and see what Texas is doing because I want them to be successful.”

Washington, who on Friday turned 70, went 664-611 in eight seasons managing the Rangers (2007-14). As he discussed his tenure in his return to Texas, this much was evident: He is extremely proud of the brand of baseball his teams played in Arlington.

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Those teams had Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero and Michael Young and others. The list goes on and on. Washington managed some fun groups. He took Texas to the World Series in 2010 and 2011.

“I never thought (the relationships) wouldn’t last because when I was here, I thought we put a darn good product on the field,” Washington said. “I thought when people came to the ballpark, they had fun watching the game of baseball, because there wasn’t anything that the game of baseball asked to be done that we couldn’t do – and we did it nightly. I think there was a lot of people that woke up in the morning that couldn’t wait to watch those guys play.”

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In this Sept. 3, 2014, file photo, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington hits during fielding drills before the Rangers' baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo. AP file photo

Credit: AP

In this Sept. 3, 2014, file photo, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington hits during fielding drills before the Rangers' baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo.  AP file photo

Credit: AP

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In this Sept. 3, 2014, file photo, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington hits during fielding drills before the Rangers' baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo. AP file photo

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

This weekend at Globe Life Field, the Braves and Rangers are meeting for the first time since 2017, Washington’s first season on manager Brian Snitker’s staff. The Rangers took two of three at Truist Park in the clubs’ last series. This series marks the first time the teams have played in Arlington since 2014, when Texas swept a three-game set.

This might as well be the Ron Washington Return Tour, too. Hours before the game, Rangers reporters stood in front of the Braves’ dugout and watched Washington work with some of Atlanta’s infielders. Soon after that, Washington showed the local media his World Series ring and its different components.

In terms of his time in Texas, Washington is most proud of how his teams were entertaining. They brought fans to the ballpark.

“When the game started, they showed you baseball,” he said. “Every facet. They ran the bases, they pitched, they caught the ball, they executed, they could play team, fundamental baseball. They did everything.

“And that was our goal from the day that we got together. Our goal was to go out there and have people say, ‘Jeez, that team can play some baseball.’ Now, it’s up to them to decide what part they wanted to pull off, but whatever part the game asked to be played, those guys played it.”

Washington is proud of the success his teams experienced with him at the helm. His only regret: He couldn’t win a World Series for Texas.

A decade after he lost in the World Series for the second time as Texas’ manager, he won it all with Atlanta.

“I feel tremendously fulfilled because not only me, but every person that plays the game of baseball wants to get to the point where they can get a World Series ring,” Washington said. “That’s what they play for – they play for a World Series ring. I had three opportunities in the World Series and I finally got one, so it’s very special.”

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Ronald Acuna Jr. gets five from Ron Washington rounding third base while hitting a 2-run homer to take a 4-2 lead over the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning in a MLB baseball game on Sunday, August 12, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Ronald Acuna Jr. gets five from Ron Washington rounding third base while hitting a 2-run homer to take a 4-2 lead over the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning in a MLB baseball game on Sunday, August 12, 2018, in Atlanta.  Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
Ronald Acuna Jr. gets five from Ron Washington rounding third base while hitting a 2-run homer to take a 4-2 lead over the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning in a MLB baseball game on Sunday, August 12, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Ronald Acuña has day off

As expected, superstar outfielder Ronald Acuña was not in the lineup. It is a scheduled day off as the Braves work him back into the swing of it all.

“He feels great,” Snitker said. “Probably if he had his way, he’d be in there every day. Not going to happen.”

A hometown start for Bryce Elder

Right-hander Bryce Elder is the hometown kid this weekend. He grew up about 45 miles away from Globe Life Field, in Decatur, Texas.

He will start Saturday’s game. Elder has a 4.30 ERA over three starts. He has struggled to limit the walks, but he’s limited the damage.

“When things go wrong, he doesn’t panic,” Snitker said. “He just keeps making pitches. He doesn’t deviate from his game, he doesn’t give in. I think those are all really good traits for a young pitcher. There’s still a big learning curve. Every time he goes out there, he’s going to experience something that he hasn’t experienced before. But I love his aptitude and I love the intangibles.”

Travis Demeritte leads off

With Acuña off, Travis Demeritte was in the leadoff spot for the Braves Friday.

Snitker said he feels like this helps keep the rest of the hitters in order. He also likes Ozzie Albies in the meat of the order at No. 5.

Plus, Demeritte has put together good at-bats. He entered this series 5-for-14 with a home run.

“You never know who that guy is going to be in spring training that ends up playing a big part,” Snitker said. “There’s always somebody.”

TBA for Sunday

Snitker didn’t announce a starter for Sunday’s series finale.

It’s listed as “TBA” in the team’s game notes.