Jarrod Washburn was at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday and the Angels’ newest guest instructor was eager to get a look at major-league talent up close.
After all, this is a departure for Washburn, who is now the manager at his alma mater, Webster (Wisc.) High School. The city of Webster has a population of 655 at last count, but Washburn said he was motivated to help a program that’s seen four managers in the last four years.
“They need stability,” he said.
The previous manager had only one assistant coach. Washburn wanted two, but the school said they couldn’t afford two.
“I said, ‘just take it out of my salary and pay two’,” Washburn said. “They said, ‘nobody’s ever done that before.’ ”
Washburn pitched for the Angels from 1998-2005, going 75-57. He was the staff ace on the Angels’ 2002 World Series champion team, going 18-6 with a 3.15 ERA and finishing fourth in American League Cy Young balloting. We’re also obligated to mention that he went 0-2 in the World Series against the Giants, knowing the Angels wouldn’t have gotten there without him in the first place.
After three and a half forgettable seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Washburn was traded to the Detroit Tigers in July 2009. He effectively retired after the season.