Beloved former Braves coach discusses difficulty leaving Atlanta for new opportunity

Ron Washington's decision to accept a new role with the Angels wasn't an easy choice.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves fans lost one of their favorite parts of the coaching staff at the conclusion of the 2023 season. Ron Washington has always mentioned how he'd love to return to managing at some point in his career.

Organizations have always had interest in possibly adding Wash to their team since he landed with the team in 2016 but he remained with the Braves each time. Players and fans alike grew attached to the great man he is over seven years.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, the right opportunity came calling as Ron Washington was named manager of the Los Angleles Angels starting in 2024. He is on a two-year deal with the Halos as they begin their post-Shohei era.

This is his second stint as a big league manager with his first being with the Texas Rangers from 2007-2014, winning the AL Pennant twice. Despite a 664-611 record and five successful seasons in Arlington, Wash announced his retirement in early September of 2014.

That was short-lived as he joined the A's coaching staff in May of 2015 and remained there until the Braves hired him in 2016 as their third base coach. Wash changed the culture of the Braves infield as they put a high priority on putting in work and being defensively sound as an infield.

His relationship with all of Atlanta' s players is special but he and Ozzie Albies especially bonded over the years. They were both hard on each other and always provided an entertaining interaction.

It was tough to see Wash leave but Braves Country couldn't be happier that he's getting the opportunity to do something he's been wanting to do.

Ron recently joined the Foul Territory podcast and they asked him how hard it was leaving Atlanta. Wash spoke highly of his time with the Braves and how Alex Anthopoulos "takes care of all of his people".

He touched on how he'd received many job offers over the years and any time AA told him a teams inquired for his services, Wash told him he wasn't leaving unless he was offered a managing gig.

The Louisiana native stayed true to his word and didn't leave until the time was right and he felt this opportunity with the Angels was perfect timing.

As far as the difficulty leaving Atlanta, he touched on how every day in the clubhouse, he and other coaches stayed on top of every player to ensure they were giving their best. He specifically mentioned how the void created with he and Eric Young Sr. leaving will force the remaining players to lean on the coaches who are left and "depend on the the love, and the wisdom, the knowledge. Everything we left behind."

He was so beloved by players and fans because of how charismatic and fun he is as a coach. There is never a moment where you need to guess where you stand with him or how he feels. That authenticity gets the most of of his players. There are a plethora of Ron Washington quotes that Braves players shared last season and it speaks to just how real he is.

Wash never accepted any excuses from his players and they were expected to bring their best each and every day. The current Braves lineup is who they are because of Ron Washington. He is one of the best things to ever happen to this franchise and he'll be missed.

There's no doubt he will get every ounce of respect and work ethic out of his players with the Angels now. Hopefully, they appreciate him the same way Atlanta Braves players and fans do.

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