Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Ron Washington enjoys 'Moneyball' movie

By Richard Durrett

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington, who admits he read the first chapter of the book Moneyball and never got back into it, went to the premiere of the movie Monday night in Oakland.

"I thought the movie was very good," Washington said. "It brought back a lot of memories."

And Washington, a third base coach and infield coach with the A's at the time, discovered there were things going on during his time in Oakland that he didn't know. The movie depicts manager Art Howe, a traditional baseball skipper, at odds at times with GM Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt.

"I didn’t know, if that’s what happened, that Billy and Art weren’t getting along," Washington said. "Art never talked to us about it. He was always even-keeled -- never too high, never too low, never knew if anything was going on. Billy never talked to us about it either. It’s amazing you’re around something and you don’t know what’ s going on."

Washington didn't meet Pitt, choosing instead to quietly slip in the theater to avoid any red carpet treatment. But he did meet Brent Jennings, who portrayed him in the movie.

"He said that he hoped he did me justice," Washington said. "He was very decisive in his answers and that’s how I am, so he did that well."

Washington is portrayed as someone who is in the old school mold and doesn't rely solely on all the sabermetrics that Beane utilized. Washington said at the time, he was asked by author Michael Lewis for his opinions on the game and he gave them.

"My ideas of the game of baseball are my ideas," Washington said. "When I was here, I was the third base coach and infield coach. That was my job. When Art sent the sign to me, I put it on. I never gave my opinion one way or the other.

"When he [Lewis] asked me, I gave my opinion. It may have sounded like I was against what was going on, but I was an employee doing my job. Now I have an opportunity to run the game the way I was brought up. That doesn’t mean I don’t preach getting on base or grinding a pitcher down. I spent 11 years in Oakland, it's going to rub off a little bit."