Friday, October 15, 2010

Did smoking, profanity cause a rift between Mark Teixeira and Ron Washington?

There's a story in today's Daily News about Mark Teixeira and Ron Washington not exactly being BFFs when Tex was on the Texas Rangers. But what are the reasons behind it? Among other things, according to the article, "former teammates and a club executive said Teixeira complained of Washington's penchant for profanity and smoking in the dugout."

While I don't doubt that the two of them had a conflict - Washington acknowledges as much in the article - I wonder if those two things are really some of the reasons the two of them reportedly didn't get along.

First of all, unless Mark is challenging Tony Dungy these days, he has to be used to hearing profanity, even from the manager. But if this is the case, guess Teixeira won't be palling around with Jets coach Rex Ryan, eh?

Second is the "smoking in the dugout" accusation. Did Washington do it? It's possible. However, as Squawker Jon noted, even famous Mets smoker Keith Hernandez went to the clubhouse to get his tobacco fix. Joe DiMaggio would smoke in the Yankee tunnel. Even Jim Leyland, the famous smoker/manager in the game, doesn't get away with smoking in the dugout anymore. There are laws at almost every stadium these days banning smoking.

At any rate, as a former smoker, I wouldn't blame Teixeira for complaining about this if it happened. I don't really like breathing tobacco smoke now (I always said I wouldn't become one of those hectoring, judgemental ex-smokers when I quit, but it does bother my lungs.) And if I were a professional athlete, I'd be peeved to be around smoking in such an enclosed space during the game.

Anyhow, in an interview with the News, Washington didn't directly address what caused friction between them, but said something happened:
"It was a one-night thing where something happened in a ballgame and I called him on it. From that point on, I guess he disliked me," Washington told the Daily News. "Other than that I always felt I gave him the respect that he deserved.

"More than anything else we didn't get a chance to get to know each other," Washington continued. "If he'd have stayed around long enough, he'd have understood better what I meant by questioning him on some things. But the next thing you know, it was out of hand.

"I never had animosity toward him, but when I had something to say to him I said it."
Saying that you gave somebody "the respect that he deserved" isn't always a compliment, though!

According to the paper, Washington said he never heard the smoking/profanity complaints. But he does say:

"One time I had something to say and he was the guy I said it to," Washington said. "He said something back. And I went right back at him. It was just about the game of baseball, his ideas versus my ideas. But I am the manager."
 When asked about the issue, Teixeira responded:
"I really don't know what he's talking about. That was a long time ago," Teixeira said. "I was here for four months with him and I was on the DL for a month."
Wonder what the real story is here.

What do you think? Tell us about it.

1 comment:

Uncle Mike said...

If Teixeira had a problem with profanity, I suspect he has a problem with it on the Yankees, too. I find it hard to believe that Nick Swisher does not, at least once a day, have to say, "Oops. Sorry, Teix." And I'm sure he's heard A.J. Burnett say, "(Bleep)! Why can't I get the (bleep)ing ball over the (bleeperbleeping) plate anymore?" Then there's Joba, who wants to bet that he couldn't, to use the line from "My Fair Lady," "make a sailor blush"?

This dovetails (now THAT sounds dirty) with Lisa's post about Mickey Mantle. Roger Kahn, later the author of "The Boys of Summer," was once asked to do a magazine piece on him, and objected, saying Mantle was a bad interview, partly because "Every third word out of his mouth is (bleep)!"

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