Dishonesty. Breach of trust. Jeopardizing a franchise’s reputation. Yep, the Texas Rangers have been through this before.

Right, Ron Washington?

The knee-jerky, emotional reaction to an employee covertly taping the manger’s profanity-laced speech before Game 7 of the World Series was that it was a “fireable offense!” I’ve heard media blowhards and fan diehards alike scream that the employee — who then emailed the secret sound to a close acquaintance who then… and so on and so on and so on until it landed on a website and quickly went viral — violated the sanctity of the clubhouse. That his actions were inexcusable and unforgiveable, because it compromised the skipper and the 25 players in that room.

Totally agree. Except he shouldn’t be fired.

Why? Because taping a locker room speech pales in comparison to deciding to snort a line(s) of cocaine during the season.

You’re going to say that what Washington did in the summer of 2009 only affected him, and you’re unequivocally wrong. In making his dumb decision to do illegal drugs, the manager breached the trust of his players, his front office and his fans. He gets caught in the act, goes to jail in handcuffs and it not only derails a baseball season but smears the franchise’s reputation forever. It’s just irrational to try to convince yourself that Washington’s cocaine trip didn’t negatively affect his players.

And for it, he offered to resign. I thought at the time and still maintain that he should have been fired.

He wasn’t. Though we may not have forgotten, we’ve all forgiven Washington and he’s recovered to lead Texas to consecutive World Series.

In light of his story, how can you call for an employee to be fired for a bad decision? Washington is the leader of the team, the overseer of the clubhouse and the team’s prime day-to-day decision maker. The employee? Countless rungs down, if he’s even on the ladder.

General manager Jon Daniels will only confirm that the rat isn’t a player. By all accounts the employee has been reprimanded, but not fired.

“I’d fire him, no questions asked,” says Texas Motor Speedway president and general manager Eddie Gossage. “You can’t violate the trust of the inner circle. Whoever did this is lucky the Rangers have their management style, but I wouldn’t be near so kind. On trust issues with your employees, I’m black and white.”

I loved Washington’s speech. It’s a sign of how he deftly manages his team. In the wake of an epic Game 6 loss and minutes before a Game 7, he has players laughing and relaxed. And, for what it’s worth, I’m pleasantly surprised that the Bible Belt isn’t up in arms about Washington’s extra salty language. The Rangers are the Metroplex’s cute, cuddly, family-oriented team and I betcha more than a couple fans were shocked to hear a couple GD’s, too many F’s count and even the Cardinals portrayed as C-Suckers.

Just a couple of questions in the wake of the incident:

Anybody know Tom Hicks’ whereabouts at the time of the taping?

And it’s justified that the culprit — rat fink that he is — didn’t get fired. Because we all make mistakes. Some bigger than others. Right, Ron Washington?

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