ATLANTA -- Ron Washington has repeatedly said how much he has enjoyed his time with the Braves, but the A’s are like family to him and they are now looking for a manager.
Sources told MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell that the Padres will hire current A’s skipper Bob Melvin as their manager. This unexpected move creates reason to wonder whether Oakland might target Washington to replace Melvin.
Freddie Freeman is among the many Braves players to have developed a strong admiration for Washington and the tireless work ethic he continues to show while serving as Atlanta’s third-base coach at 69 years old.
Washington served as the Rangers' manager from 2007-14 and guided them to consecutive World Series appearances in 2010-11. He developed a strong friendship with Oakland’s executive vice president of baseball operations, Billy Beane, while serving on the A’s coaching staff from 1996-2006 and 2015-16.
“That man, I don't want him to leave, but he deserves every opportunity if a managerial job opens up for him,” Freeman said. “He's an unbelievable leader. He has the enthusiasm. He has the drive to win. He loves coaching.”
If Freeman doesn’t want Washington to leave, does that mean Freeman is also planning to sign with Atlanta after likely becoming a free agent at the end of the World Series?
“I think everyone in this room knows I want to stay here,” Freeman said.
Charlie Morton underwent surgery on his fractured right fibula on Thursday, two days after sustaining the injury when he was struck by Yuli Gurriel’s 102.4 mph comebacker during the second inning of Game 1 of the World Series. Morton remained on the mound to finish the frame and secure the first out of the third inning before he was diagnosed with the fracture.
“What I've heard, the expectation is good that he should heal fine and be ready to go in Spring Training and be well,” manager Brian Snitker said Friday.
Morton would have been slated to start on Sunday. Instead, he is expected to join his teammates at Truist Park this weekend as an onlooker. He was replaced by southpaw Tucker Davidson on the World Series roster.
“Losing a Game 5 starter is definitely going to be tough, because that's what he would have been,” Freeman said. “It's amazing what he did, to be honest with you. ... But I think this team has overcome a lot, and we'll do it again.”
Another grand stage
Truist Park will be the sixth stadium in which the Braves have hosted a World Series game. According to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs, that's two more ballparks than any other franchise.
When the Braves first played in the Fall Classic in 1914, they played their home games at a relatively new stadium that more than a century later is still known as Fenway Park.
Why did the Boston Braves use Fenway? Well, their new stadium wasn't ready until the following spring, and they began renting Fenway in August 1914 because it allowed them to accommodate far more fans than the South End Grounds, which had served as their home for the previous 43 years.
Here is a list of the stadiums in which the Braves have hosted World Series games:
Fenway Park (1914)
Braves Field (1948)
Milwaukee County Stadium (1957, ’58)
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (1991, ’92, ’95-96)
Turner Field (1999)
Truist Park (2021)