Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman went to bat for third base coach Ron Washington on Friday ahead of Game 3 of the World Series.
With Bob Melvin leaving the Oakland Athletics for the San Diego Padres’ managerial job, Freeman said Washington should be in line to lead the American League West team.
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Atlanta Braves third base coach Ron Washington has Freddie Freeman, left, breaking into laughter as the Braves get ready to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Los Angeles. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
“He deserves it,” Freeman said hours before the game, via MLB Network.
Washington was reportedly in contention for the Padres job before Melvin got the job.
The 69-year-old Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 to 2014 and won two American League pennants. He got the Rangers to the American League wild-card game in 2012, but the team lost to the Baltimore Orioles. Washington resigned from the Rangers job to focus on personal matters.
EVERY WORLD SERIES SINCE 1982 HAS FEATURED A TEAMMATE OF JOHN SMOLTZ
The Atlanta Braves’ Adam Duvall celebrates his solo home run with Atlanta Braves third base coach Ron Washington in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae Hong)
“It was just something that I’ll never forget. I love the way the fans reacted to how we played baseball. I appreciate the way the fans reacted when things didn’t go right for us, they never backed away from backing us,” Washington told the Dallas Morning News, while reflecting on his time with Texas. “We can go on and on and on, but the time that I’ve had in Texas I will never forget. It will always be in my heart because we fought hard to put together what we put together there.”
He was hired by the Athletics as their infield coach in May 2015 and months later became their third base coach. He had reportedly been in contention for the Braves job before it was given to Brian Snitker, who has led Atlanta to the World Series for the first time since 1999.
Atlanta Braves third base coach Ron Washington watches during batting practice before Game 1 in baseball’s World Series against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
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For now, Washington is focused on the Braves and the pursuit of a ring. Game 3 is set for Atlanta Friday night.