This week at Winter Meetings, Ron Washington got a pop quiz.
“Four other members of your 1988 club are now current Major League managers, just like you. Can you name them?”
The Rangers skipper, approached with this informal test by MLB.com, thought for a moment. “Terry Francona,” he said. Francona, the new leader of the Indians, hit .311 in 62 games that season, primarily as a designated hitter. “John Farrell,” Washington continued. Farrell, who jumped from the Blue Jays to the Red Sox this winter, was a 25-year-old starter who won 14 games that year. “Um,” said Washington, looking momentarily stumped, until the memory clicks. “Charlie Manuel was the hitting coach!” Long before he won a World Series with the Phillies, Manuel was, indeed, the hitting coach on this particular club.
Nonetheless, Washington was still short one.
“Buddy Black!” Washington exclaimed. Black, principal of the Padres, was a midseason rotation acquisition for the 1988 Indians. “See?” said Washington. “I do