"I'm shocked right now," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's a good man. I wish him the best."
Washington was 88-60 (.595) against the Mariners in nearly eight seasons as Rangers skipper. His best teams were known for their camaraderie and work ethic, qualities McClendon said their manager exemplified.
"They played with his style," McClendon said. "He loved the game and they played hard with a lot of passion and they were damn good. That's a hard thing to accomplish, to get guys to want to play hard for you, but he did it better than anybody."
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak, who came up through the Texas farm system, got to know Washington during stints with the big league club in Spring Training and played for the manager as a rookie with Texas in 2010 before being traded to Seattle.
"My time with him, I enjoyed him, he's a great guy, had a lot of energy and was fun to play for," Smoak said. "Me being a rookie, he was pretty hard on me every day -- as he should have been. He was a great teacher and as a manager a lot of guys enjoyed playing for him. Guys wanted to do well for not just themselves, but they wanted to do well for Wash because he cared so much and he expressed it to everybody. Today's just kind of a shock for everybody."
Washington's departure, along with the Astros' dismissal of Bo Porter earlier this week, means McClendon is now the only African-American manager in the Major Leagues. Twelve years ago, there were eight.
"It was an alarming figure to start with [in 2014] and it's even more alarming now," said McClendon.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.