Angels’ Ron Washington calls out player for not getting suicide bunt down in questionable coaching decision

May 16, 2024
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Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington has been in the game a long time, so it’s understandable he’s confident in his decision-making. However, one of his managerial moves proved costly, and he wasn’t taking any of the blame.

With the bases loaded and his Los Angeles Angels trailing 7-6 with one out in the bottom of the eighth, Luis Guillorme was tasked with putting down a suicide squeeze. 

However, because the slider he faced was well outside the strike zone, Guillorme missed, and base runner Zach Neto was tagged out at home. 

Guillorme struck out later in the at-bat to end the inning, and the Angels lost by that same score.

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Ron Washington

Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington looks on from the dugout during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Angel Stadium.  (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports)

It was a peculiar decision by Washington to just about everyone — except Washington.

Washington conceded he made the decision because of the lefty-on-lefty matchup, and he didn’t want Guillorme grounding into a double play with a sinker ball pitcher on the bump.

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The 72-year-old longtime coach brushed aside any blame and placed it all on Guillorme.

“He can handle the bat,” Washington began. “He didn’t do the job. It wasn’t anything I did wrong. He didn’t do the job.”

Washington then said he “would’ve rather gone to the ninth inning with a 6-6 lead than have gone to the ninth inning the way we did.” That’s tough to do since it is impossible to have a lead in a 6-6 game, or any tie game, for that matter. The game also could not have become a 6-6 game because the St. Louis Cardinals already had seven runs.

Ron Washington coming out of dugout

Ron Washington of the Los Angeles Angels walks to the mound to pull José Suarez after Suarez gave up four runs in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium of Anaheim April 24, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Washington was then pressed about how Cardinals reliever JoJo Romero was “wild.” He had walked his previous two batters, and 13 of his 25 pitches up to that point had been out of the zone.

Despite that, Washington insisted Romero had been dealing.

“Wild? He was throwing the ball in the strike zone. Why are you making excuses?” Washington pleaded. “He was throwing the ball in the strike zone. He did not get the bunt down. Period.”

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Guillorme took the high road after the media had wrapped up its time with the manager.

“I haven’t seen (what Washington said). He made a good pitch,” Guillorme said. “I didn’t get it down. I’ve got to try to put a bat on it. That’s it.”

Ron Washington in dugout

Manager Ron Washington of the Los Angeles Angels sits in the dugout before an opening day game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim April 5, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

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With the loss, the Angels dropped to 15-28. Their .349 winning percentage is the fourth-lowest in the majors and puts them on pace to finish the season at 56-116.

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