Rangers manager Ron Washington was caught smoking in the dugout in his team’s win Sunday against the Seattle Mariners.
Television cameras caught the Rangers manager having a smoke in the ninth inning of the team’s 11-3 victory, continuing in his questionable clubhouse habits that have driven players away from the team in the past.
Slugger Mark Teixeira left the team a few years ago, complaining of the Texas Rangers manager’s habit of cursing and smoking in the dugout.
Washington recalled the argument they had.
“One time I had something to say and he was the guy I said it to,” Washington told the New York Daily News in 2010. “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.”
Teixeira tried to be diplomatic in addressing the Rangers manager.
“Every player and manager may have disagreements about stuff, but it wasn’t an issue,” Teixeira said. “The first time I saw him when I was playing with the Braves, I gave him a big hug. … He called me when I got traded. I thanked him and Jon Daniels for the opportunity to move on. It was great.”
Just a little more than a decade ago, seeing the Rangers manager smoking in the dugout wouldn’t be too far off from the norm. While smoking tobacco has traditionally been taboo in baseball, chewing tobacco was once rampant, though recent labor deals have placed limitations on how and where players can use it.
Other players have been caught lighting up before, however. New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez was famously caught enjoying a cigarette during a 1987 game.
For the Rangers manager, smoking in the clubhouse could have repercussions. The dugout is not one of the designated smoking areas inside Rangers Ballpark, meaning his lighting up was in violation of the team’s own policy.