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Managers have been abusing substances for years

Mar 19, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

Jim Reeves of ESPNDallas asked this question yesterday in the wake of Ron Washington’s cocaine revelation:

This begs the question: How can Washington manage others when he can’t manage himself?

The Common Man answers that question with his typical thoroughness. Your must-read of the day.

I’m not condoning Washington’s behavior or anything, but if you’re going to tut-tut it you should at least have a sense of where the transgression falls on the continuum of poor managerial behavior.  Booze killed Billy Martin’s career and then literally killed him.  Washington may have partied like a rock star in his Anaheim hotel room, but Tony La Russa got behind the wheel of a car after drinking.  Perspective people.

  1. BC - Mar 19, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Amazing how some managers/coaches get a pass, and when others do something like this it turns into this big scandal. Larussa basically got a pass – a couple press conferences and the issue was dead almost before it started. And remember Jon Gruden? Same thing, and now he’s America’s golden boy on MNF (excuse me, I just vomited in my mouth). Dennis Green had that rather significant sexual harassment episode and that just sort of was buried. In Washington’s case, don’t get why the reaction has been this strong.

  2. Joey B - Mar 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    “In Washington’s case, don’t get why the reaction has been this strong.”
    It should be, but it should’ve been in the other cases, especially LaRussa’s. There is no excuse for getting in a car when you can easily afford a taxi.

  3. Stone - Mar 19, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    To believe that Washington only tried cocaine once is ludicrous. Especially considering his ties to the 80’s and greenies. With that being said, who really cares if the guy blows coke, as long as he does his job well.

  4. Joe L - Mar 19, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    And god knows there has never been a journalist or sportswriter who has succeeded in spite of drug or alcohol use.

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Mar 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    No kidding. When I switched jobs the guild made me turn in my legal-profession-issued bottle of scotch for the sportswriting-profession-issued bottle of rye.

  6. The Rabbit - Mar 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    In the early years of my profession, it was considered a badge of honor and a sign of success if you had both a bottle of scotch and a bottle of Maalox (Is that still on the market?) in your credenza. In the 80’s, it was supplanted by coke.
    It wasn’t my style but who am I to judge?
    And while we are on the subject of managers getting a “pass”, as a Braves fan, it seems to me that there was an article regarding Bobby Cox and a domestic abuse incident where alcohol was involved.
    Craig: As you know, I appreciate your voice of reason in this age of media hysteria.

  7. Ditto - Mar 19, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    I would keep sneaking the scotch if I were you…

  8. ND - Mar 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Several of you are conventiently overlooking two facts (right or wrong morally). 1. what most of the others did, including drinking, they did OFF THE FIELD. And, 2. Alcohol is NOT illegal. When Ty Cobb gambled on games, it was illegal. When Babe Ruth drank, even off the field, during the ’20s, it was illegal. Does that matter? You bet your butt. If morality (which is highly subjective) were the determining factor in these matters, Hall of Fame membership numbers would be greatly reduced, as would be the rosters of several Major League teams. And as long as we keep giving chances to, and putting guys like Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, and Josh Hamilton, among many others, on a pedestal, baseball can’t use morality as a yardstick for measuring anything!

  9. ND - Mar 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Several of you are conventiently overlooking two facts (right or wrong morally). 1. what most of the others did, including drinking, they did OFF THE FIELD. And, 2. Alcohol is NOT illegal. When Ty Cobb gambled on games, it was illegal. When Babe Ruth drank, even off the field, during the ’20s, it was illegal. Does that matter? You bet your butt. If morality (which is highly subjective) were the determining factor in these matters, Hall of Fame membership numbers would be greatly reduced, as would be the rosters of several Major League teams. And as long as we keep giving chances to, and putting guys like Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry, and Josh Hamilton, among many others, on a pedestal, baseball can’t use morality as a yardstick for measuring anything!

  10. The Common Man - Mar 19, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    1) Has anyone accused Ron Washington of doing cocaine ON THE FIELD? Because while I’m morally opposed to doing cocaine, that would be AWESOME!
    2) Alcohol was illegal when John McGraw was drinking it. And beating your wife (Bobby Cox) and drunk driving (Tony LaRussa) are still pretty illegal last I checked. Read my article and check back.
    3) No one is saying that Ron Washington should be in the Hall of Fame. No one at all. No one is even talking about the Hall of Fame in this argument. I have no idea what you’re even talking about.
    ReCaptcha: waco got (Waco got what?)

  11. fiveiron - Mar 19, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel were a couple of Hll of Fame tipplers. Didn’t Butch Hobson get into some kind of trouble trying to snort the baselines?

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