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Manager admits using coke

tangled up: Braves second baseman Brooks Conrad falls over the Marlins’ Jorge Cantu  while turning a double play during the sixth inning.

Associated Press

tangled up: Braves second baseman Brooks Conrad falls over the Marlins’ Jorge Cantu while turning a double play during the sixth inning.

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Rangers manager Ron Washington failed a Major League Baseball test for cocaine last season but has apologized and will keep his job.

"I made a huge mistake and it almost caused me to lose everything I have worked for all of my life," Washington said at a news conference Wednesday. "I am not here to make excuses. There are none."

Washington, 57, said he used cocaine only once and called it "stupid" and "shameful" behavior. He met with his players earlier in the day and told them about testing positive in July.

The failed test was first reported by SI.com.

Washington said he told the commissioner's office and Rangers management about his cocaine use before he had a routine drug test. He said he offered to resign.

"We certainly had discussions about that," team president Nolan Ryan said. "He came forward and said he would resign. He understood the consequences. We had a lot of discussions and a lot of soul-searching on it.

"He stood up to it. We felt like he was sincere and forthright. We are very disappointed by this. We are upset we were put in this position."

Washington's contract was extended last year for 2010 before the drug test. His contract expires after this year, which will be his fourth with Texas. The Rangers, out of the playoffs since 1999, stayed in postseason contention until late in the year and finished 87-75.

Washington has been subject to increased testing since he failed and said he has passed every subsequent test. He said he has completed the MLB drug-treatment program.

PUERTO RICO SERIES: A three-game series between the Mets and Marlins in June was moved from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Associated Press reported.

D'BACKS: Right-hander Brandon Webb said he feels the best he has felt all spring and hopes for a late April return. Webb, coming back from shoulder surgery, said he might have been pushing himself too hard during a frustrating recent bullpen session. … Right-hander Kris Benson, 35, agreed to a minor-league contract.

MARINERS: Left-hander Cliff Lee was suspended for the first five games of the regular season for throwing a pitch over the head of the Diamondbacks' Chris Snyder in Monday's game.

MARLINS: Former All-Star closer Derrick Turnbow was released. He was set to have his aching right shoulder examined by a doctor in Miami later in the day.

REDS: Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman pitched three impressive innings in his first start of the spring. The left-hander, 22, gave up only one hit — a leadoff homer to the Brewers' Rickie Weeks — walked one and struck out five.

RED SOX: Infielder Jed Lowrie has mononucleosis. He hadn't played since March 11 and had been feeling fatigued. … Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, slowed by back and neck ailments, threw batting practice for the first time this spring.

ROCKIES: Closer Huston Street felt discomfort in his right shoulder and will have an MRI exam. Street, hampered by shoulder inflammation, may start the season on the disabled list.

Manager admits using coke 03/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 10:41pm]
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