LEFTOVERS: Fine makes cents for manager


A colorful character, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington dropped a half-dozen f-bombs in rapid-fire fashion while conducting an interview with the Review-Journal at Cashman Field last season during the city’s annual Big League Weekend.

While we found Washington to be affable and entertaining, Bob Watson, Major League Baseball’s vice president in charge of discipline, might feel otherwise.

That’s because Washington once shipped a box of 20,000 pennies to MLB’s office in New York to pay a $200 fine.

Washington incurred the fine in 2011, when he was ejected from a spring training game after leaving the dugout to stand up for third baseman Adrian Beltre, who was tossed for arguing balls and strikes.

“I lost my mind,” Washington recently told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Beltre was yelling from the dugout, ‘It was outside!’ And the umpire threw him out of the game because he told Beltre to stop and Beltre didn’t stop. And then I went out there and argued with him and I said something I shouldn’t have said.”

Had the incident ended there, Washington said he would’ve had no problem with paying the standard $100 fine. However, he never left the dugout as required after the ejection — because the ballpark at Peoria (Ariz.) Sports Complex doesn’t offer many other suitable places for a manager to sit — so MLB doubled his fine.

Washington responded by filling a box with $200 in pennies and mailing it to Watson, who called after receiving the package.

Watson: “And you just had $200 in pennies hanging around?”

Washington: “Yes. Bob, I didn’t have my checkbook. I wasn’t trying to be funny. Now go to the bank and put that in the (change) machine and get your $200.”

Washington said the box, which weighed about 110 pounds, cost him $45 to send. The prank was priceless.

■ BARK-OLEPSY — Charles Barkley almost fell asleep on the set of “Inside the NBA” on Thursday night. While he was on the air. TNT showed several replays of Barkley’s eyes shutting as Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal mercilessly mocked their partner.

Barkley said he nearly dozed off because his colleagues were so boring, but the NBA also has been putting Sir Charles to sleep.

“Clearly, the NBA sucks right now. The NBA is the worst it’s ever been,” he said Tuesday at a news conference about coverage of the NCAA Tournament. “I feel bad for the fans because they are not getting a quality product. All the players are making a lot of money, but these fans are not getting quality basketball.”

Barkley said one way to improve NBA play is to require players to stay in college for two years.

“You’ll get a lot better in two years than you will playing 30 games,” he said.

Barkley also fired a shot at CBS announcers, who he said weren’t very welcoming to Turner Sports announcers when they teamed up during last year’s NCAA Tournament.

“Some of these (CBS) guys are jerkoffs,” he said. “They didn’t treat us very well, because they thought we were trying to take their jobs. I’m not trying to take your job. I’m not even sure we want to do this.”

Time for an “Anchorman” brawl. Someone get Shaq a trident.

COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

 

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