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Angels manager Ron Washington criticizes player after his own squeeze bunt decision backfires

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Angels manager Ron Washington criticizes player after his own squeeze bunt decision backfires


ANAHEIM, Calif. — JoJo Romero appeared rattled. The St. Louis Cardinals setup man had walked two batters in a row — one on a pitch-clock violation. He’d been in three-ball counts to every hitter he faced.

There was one out, the bases were loaded and St. Louis was up a run in the eighth inning. That’s when Los Angeles Angels manager Ron Washington called for Luis Guillorme to execute a squeeze bunt.

The pitch was well outside. Guillorme couldn’t make contact. And Zach Neto, running down the line, was an easy out. The Angels didn’t score again and lost 7-6 on Tuesday.

Washington absolved himself of all blame in the situation and instead placed it at the feet of Guillorme, who has been with the team for less than one week.

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“He didn’t do the job,” Washington said of Guillorme. “It wasn’t anything I did wrong. He didn’t do the job.

“I would have rather went to the ninth inning with a 6-6 lead than gone to the ninth inning the way we did.”

Washington also incorrectly said that Romero had been throwing strikes. At the time, Romero had thrown 14 balls in the inning compared to just 12 strikes.

“He was throwing the ball in the strike zone,” Washington said, before elevating his voice at the reporter and hitting his hand against the podium. “Why are you making excuses? He was throwing the ball in the strike zone. (Guillorme) did not get the bunt down. Period.”

The Angels have struggled mightily in Washington’s first season as Angels manager. Tuesday evening’s loss dropped their record to 15-28. They’ve lost all but two series this season and have won consecutive games just twice all year.

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Guillorme took the high road in responding to Washington’s comments. He accepted responsibility, even though any bunt would have been nearly impossible to get down, given the pitch’s location.

“I haven’t seen anything,” Guillorme said when asked about what was said. “He made a good pitch. I didn’t get it down. I’ve got to try to put a bat on it. That’s it.”

Washington has been a proponent of small-ball baseball. And with the Angels struggling to score this season, he’s been actively trying to manufacture runs. The decision, he said, was rooted in the lefty-lefty matchup with Guillorme and Romero, who is also a sinker ball pitcher. Washington said he was concerned about a potential double play.

Cardinals catcher Pedro Pagés said he understood why the Angels did it, given Romero’s prowess this season. But was still caught off guard as it happened.

“When I saw the runner coming home, I was like, ‘Why is he running at me?’ So I was like, ‘Alright, let me just tag him and throw the ball to third.’”

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(Photo of Ron Washington from April 10: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)



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Remembrance, politics take stage Washington Memorial Day

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Remembrance, politics take stage Washington Memorial Day


Washington Veteran Tod Crone watches as American Legion Post 29 Commander Michael York concludes the May 27, 2024 Memorial Day service. (Kalen McCain/The Union)

WASHINGTON — A Memorial Day service in Washington’s central park Monday morning opened with many of the typical traditions for the solemn holiday.

American Legion Post 29 members posted the colors, and Pastor Anthony DeVaughn gave an invocation. Speakers offered words of remembrance for prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action, while other recited Logan’s Order and the Gettysburg Address.

Veterans at the event stood for recognition — whether in dress uniforms or T-shirts and shorts — and were met with applause. Guests pledged allegiance to the flag, and heard Robin Flattery Timmins’ rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

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“I want to thank you for continuing to honor the memory of those who have gone on before us, and given their all,” Legion Post Commander Michael York said to the crowd, before paraphrasing a quote from Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Those who’ve long enjoyed such privileges as we do, forget in time that men and women have died to win these privileges.”

But in another address at the event, keynote speaker and retired Lt. Col. Darwin Peterson set a more partisan tone.

Keynote speaker and retired Lt. Col. Darwin Peterson took a partisan tone in his Memorial Day address in Washington. Peterson argued that what he called "social and moral decay" had created a nation fallen service members would no longer recognize. (Kalen McCain/The Union)

Keynote speaker and retired Lt. Col. Darwin Peterson took a partisan tone in his Memorial Day address in Washington. Peterson argued that what he called “social and moral decay” had created a nation fallen service members would no longer recognize. (Kalen McCain/The Union)

Peterson said he prepared his speech by thinking about what questions a soldier killed in action might ask, if they could reach through time and inquire Americans today. The only such question, Peterson concluded, would be whether their sacrifice had been worth it, and created a decisively better country.

The answer, the retired military official argued, was no. He lamented the state of several hot-button issues — referencing roughly 600,000 abortion procedures performed in 2021, record-breaking levels of illegal immigration in 2024, federal support of electric vehicles, transgender students’ rights in school and criminal charges against former President Donald Trump, to name a few — and cited them as proof the nation was “not doing enough” to honor the service members memorialized on May 27.

Later in the speech, Peterson called on audience members to “elect leaders” that would “stop the social and moral decay that we see all around us,” referencing the same list of grievances.

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“At this point, I imagine that some of you are somewhat annoyed with me,” he said. “Many of you may feel that a Memorial Day observance is not really a place for politics. I agree with you … I’m not talking politics here, I’m talking about honoring the great American patriots who gave their lives for their countrymen and their country. A country they would no longer recognize.”

The address drew a standing ovation from some in the audience, while others remained seated on lawn chairs and benches, declining to clap at all.

The ceremonies continued as normal after Peterson’s speech, returning somewhat seamlessly to less contentious traditions of years past.

Silhouetted by a clear, sunny sky and the shade of a tree in Washington's central park, an American Legion Post 29 member plays taps on Memorial Day, 2024. (Kalen McCain/The Union)

Silhouetted by a clear, sunny sky and the shade of a tree in Washington’s central park, an American Legion Post 29 member plays taps on Memorial Day, 2024. (Kalen McCain/The Union)

Another speaker read off the names of area veterans who died since last Memorial Day, each accompanied by the chime of a bell. Volunteers ceremoniously folded the American flag, previously draped over a casket. A rifle salute rang out across the square, followed by the somber bugle call of taps, before Timmins and audience members sang “God Bless America.”

DeVaughn gave a short benediction, and the colors were retired.

“May we never forget those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and may we continue to thank God,” said York, before dismissing the assembled crowd.

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Comments: Kalen.McCain@southeastiowaunion.com





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3 Offensive Washington Commanders Players in ‘Prove-It’ Seasons in 2024

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3 Offensive Washington Commanders Players in ‘Prove-It’ Seasons in 2024


There’s a lot of pressure on the Washington Commanders, not just in 2024, but down the road as well. And nobody is immune from it.

From the top of the Commanders organization down everyone is entering this new season needing to prove they are the right person for the job they’re holding.

READ MORE: Austin Ekeler Ranked as Starting Running Back for Washington in 2024

With around 40 contracts expiring next year Washington just finished the busiest offseason of any NFL team and could be in the same situation in 2025 depending on how effective the team is in 2024.

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Here are three of the offensive players who need to prove something in order to solidify their roles as it pertains to the future of the Commanders.

JAYDEN DANIELS, QUARTERBACK

We’re going to start off with a guy who is going to be part of the plan in 2025, the question is how much of that plan will be about his ability and how much will be about hiding his deficiencies.

As a No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft the expectations for Daniels almost couldn’t be higher and the only quarterback with bigger expectations to meet is No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams (Chicago Bears).

A solid 2024 on the field will make Daniels’ 2025 much less pressure packed as hype replaces anxiety when good football is played by young players. However, a poor rookie season by the quarterback will make a lot of people very nervous very quickly.

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Especially when being compared to quarterbacks Washington could have selected over him like Drake Maye (New England Patriots), J.J. McCarthy (Minnesota Vikings), and Michael Penix Jr. (Atlanta Falcons), Daniels needs to have a solid rookie season to inject more confidence in the turnaround project coach Dan Quinn has taken on.

Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) runs with the ball as Dallas Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson (6) chases during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) runs with the ball as Dallas Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson (6) chases during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Despite how much fans have come to love McLaurin and the years he’s spent as the best receiver on the Commanders roster there is doubt creeping into the narrative on whether or not he’s good enough to be the team’s longterm No. 1 option.

TERRY MCLAURIN/JAHAN DOTSON, WIDE RECEIVER

We’re putting this duo together because they’re both in very similar positions entering 2024.

Despite how much fans have come to love McLaurin and the years he’s spent as the best receiver on the Commanders roster there is doubt creeping into the narrative on whether or not he’s good enough to be the team’s longterm No. 1 option.

After a solid rookie year Dotson wasn’t able to take the next step toward NFL stardom as the entire offense got bogged down in predictability and quarterback protection issues. So, it’s fair to say that he also hasn’t shown enough to be considered a longterm No. 1 option in Washington.

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If general manager Adam Peters decides to decline Dotson’s fifth-year option in 2025 then both he and McLaurin could play on expiring contracts next season. If neither shows No. 1 ability it’s highly possible at least one of them is not retained beyond that as the team looks for a true top receiver and impact playmaker to pair with their still young quarterback.

BRIAN ROBINSON JR., RUNNING BACK

Most of us who watch Washington football with a tight focus see a ton of potential in Robinson.

The national media and those with a wide lens see a back who was 19th in carries in 2022 and 33rd in 2023. Robinson’s targets in the passing game jumped up from 12 to 43 between his rookie and second seasons, but even that higher number only ranked 27th among NFL backs.

READ MORE: Brandon McManus Accused of Sexual Assault

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That lack of usage can easily give outsiders the impression the Commanders simply aren’t in love with Robinson as much as some fans and even media might be. Which is why a lot of them have veteran running back Austin Ekeler penciled in as RB1 on the Washington depth chart.

The best way to get respect is to go earn it, and if Robinson leads that room and leads it well then his future with the team – and credit from the national media – should be solidified.

Stick with CommanderGameday and the Locked On Commanders podcast for more coverage of the Washington Commanders throughout the 2024 season.



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Advice | Ask Amy: A delightful update from a struggling artist

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Advice | Ask Amy: A delightful update from a struggling artist


Dear Readers: I appreciate it when people give me “updates” on previously published advice. This update follows the Q&A, which was originally published in 2016.

Dear Amy: I’m hoping for a career in art, specifically as an illustrator. Three years ago I graduated with an art degree and have been working to make that happen, doing a lot of research, building a portfolio and exploring my options. I work part time to keep myself fed, but otherwise I’m always drawing, painting and networking.



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