But Greenberg supports decision
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outgoing Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks said Thursday there will be "zero tolerance going forward" for manager Ron Washington in regards to drug use, while owner-to-be Chuck Greenberg supports the decision made by the front office to retain the manager.
Washington admitted Wednesday to using cocaine during the 2009 season, and said he will submit to additional testing by Major League Baseball in the future. He also apologized to the team and to fans.
"I'm comfortable it's not going to happen again. And if it does, there will be zero tolerance," Hicks said Thursday from Dallas.
Washington told the club he used cocaine last summer and offered to resign as soon as he was randomly selected for a drug test by MLB.
Hicks said club president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels recommended retaining the manager even after the positive drug test, and Hicks supported the decision.
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"We believe in second chances," said Hicks, who added that the team didn't make a decision initially after Washington told them he was going to have a positive test.
"We had to further investigate and see what we were really dealing with," Hicks said. "Ron was totally cooperative and MLB has their method of how they do that."
Hicks is in the process of selling Hicks Sports Group's majority share of the Rangers to a group headed by Greenberg and Ryan.
Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney, was made aware of the details of Washington's failed drug test shortly before the news became public Wednesday.
"It's obviously a very difficult and unfortunate circumstance," Greenberg said by phone from Pittsburgh. "From speaking with Nolan and JD, it was clear to me that they put an enormous amount of thought and consideration into the proper course of action when the events took place many months ago. As I've said all along, I trust and rely on their judgment and stand by the decisions they made last summer."
Greenberg, who is hopeful the sale of the Rangers can be completed by Opening Day, said he was surprised by Washington's admission, but has learned that the sports industry is unpredictable.
"There's always going to be unforeseen circumstances that present a challenge," Greenberg said. "You deal with them as best you can and you move on. I don't think this changes, in any fundamental way, the road that lies ahead to reconnect with our fans and with our community."
Greenberg was pleased to read how supportive many of the players were of their manager.
"It was a powerful statement for how he's regarded in the clubhouse," Greenberg said.
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