PHOENIX -- Ron Washington took his coaching staff to dinner on Monday night after the Home Run Derby.Before they broke bread, Washington stood up and thanked his staff for everything they had done for him. He had a bit of a struggle keeping his emotions from bubbling over as he spoke. "It came from the heart," bench coach Jackie Moore said. "There was no one in there who didn't know how much he appreciates us." They are there as a group because they won as a group. Washington is the American League manager at the 82nd Major League All-Star Game because his Rangers went to the World Series last year. And when they did, his coaches were right there with him.
"They mean a lot to me," Washington said. "I trust them. I lean on them every day. I know when we go between the lines, they have my back. They are the ones that get my message out, and they are the ones that keep their ear to the ground."If something needs to be addressed, whether somebody needs a shakeup or somebody needs a pat on the back, they let me know. Anything they can take care of and keep away from me, it's great." Outfield coach Gary Pettis, the senior member of the group, is in his fifth season on Washington's staff, having been there since the beginning. Moore, pitching coach Mike Maddux, bullpen coach Andy Hawkins and Dave Anderson are in their third season. Hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh joined the staff last month after Thad Bosley was dismissed.
Coolbaugh started the season at Triple-A Round Rock, and now he's at the All-Star Game."It has been an unbelievable turn of events," Coolbaugh said. But Washington has had the longest journey, and this is his reward. "I've always said that if you can't play for Ron Washington, it's not his fault," Moore said. "He just has a good heart. I'm glad he's finally getting the recognition that he deserves."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.