Tread lightly before fining Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, because you may have to deal with a mountain of pennies arriving at your doorstep.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson (h/t Black Sports Online) has a lovely little tale about a cheeky skipper deciding to pay off a fine with pennies. For the confused few who pay everything electronically, those are the tiny copper-plated coins you can find under your car seat.
According to this story, you can apparently use them as currency. Wild!
After arguing with umpires in a recent spring training game, Washington recounted one of the more memorable exchanges he endured:
During a game in March 2011, Adrian Beltre had been thrown out and Washington quickly followed.
“I lost my mind,” Washington recalled. “Beltre was yelling from the dugout, ‘It was outside!’ And the umpire threw him out of the game because he told Beltre to stop and Beltre didn’t stop. And then I went out there and argued with him and I said something I shouldn’t have said.”
Sadly, we're not likely to ever find out exactly what the manager said. However, we do have something better: a story about how Washington paid the $200 fine he earned when he failed to leave the dugout after being ejected.
Washington responded by filling a box with $200 in pennies and mailing it to Bob Watson, MLB vice president in charge of discipline. Cost to mail it to New York: About $45.
Watson called after receiving the box.
Watson: "And you just had $200 in pennies hanging around? Washington: “Yes. Bob, I didn’t have my checkbook. I wasn’t trying to be funny. Now go to the bank and put that in the [change] machine and get your $200."
Sadly, Washington chose to pay via mail, because this would have been a nice sight:
This story contains almost too many awesome parts. We can't be sure if the Rangers manager had a bucket of pennies lying around the house or actually went to a bank to exchange some bills for rolls of coins. Either possibility is hilarious.
The best part is that Watson had to deal with a form of currency that really should have been snuffed out years ago. Perhaps, and this is really just blind optimism, Watson kept the box as a memento of pure comedic brilliance.
We have to think similar tactics would get you thrown out of stores, diners and other businesses that discarded the penny tray years ago.
Yet just a couple of years ago, at least one person used a pile of change to pay an official fine. There is something so wonderful about that fact.
We would never wish for a manager to get ejected but will now watch far more closely the next time an umpire kindly asks Washington to leave the premises.
The hope is that he kicks up his feet and ponders how many more pennies he has in his secret stash back at home.
For Watson, we imagine he will be far more careful when hitting the Rangers manager with a fine. Before deciding on a sum, a very important question must be answered: How many pennies is Ron Washington willing to mail?
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