There comes a time when a baseball manager must tend to his flock like a shepherd, gently leading those who are young.
And sometimes not so gently, as, apparently Ron Washington’s spirited half-hour team meeting after Tuesday’s blowout loss to the Angels that sent the Rangers to their 19th loss in 22 games.
The manager even acknowledged that time will tell if the the postgame conclave will have the effect of inspiring like Billy Graham or an 8 a.m. philosophy class lecture.
At issue, the manager said, hasn’t been effort, but rather the commitment to playing the game right as game situations develop, such as hitting to the right side to advance a runner from second to third.
As Washington often reminds, “You can do everything right in this game and not get the results you’re looking for.”
“I can live with it when you try to do things right,” said Washington, who said he was still fired up. “That’s not failure because there’s no perfection in this game.
“If you’re doing the right thing more times than not you’re going to get the results you’re looking for.”
A miffed Washington gave a hint as to what his message was in his postgame remarks on Thursday, pointing out that Adrian Beltre “comes to the ballpark … to do his job and win ballgames. It doesn’t matter the situation, doesn’t matter what’s going on … he’s locked in. Well, we’re trying to get a lot of these other guys locked in like that. It just hasn’t happened yet.”
Commitment is doing what the game asks you to do, Washington said, “not looking for a reward for what you’re supposed to do. That’s commitment.”
“It's not the first time I’ve heard that, but there’s a lot of guys in here that’s the first time they’ve seen Wash talk,” Elvis Andrus said. “It was good for them to realize and see … you have to be here and do things to win games.
“We don't care if you have numbers or not. At the end of the day it’s about how many games you have won or how have you helped the team win that day.”