Editor's note: This is the first of what will be season-long regular blog entries from Rangers reliever Darren O'Day as told to ESPNDallas.com reporter Richard Durrett. O'Day talked about the clubhouse reaction to Ron Washington's admission and what it's been like the last few days.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first indication we got of it was that there was a team meeting. For them to have an early morning meeting before a night game was surprising, so we knew something was up. Guys were speculating everything from the left to the right, crazy stuff, like we thought somebody was sick or had a terminal illness. Some of them were ridiculous. But no one ever expected that.
He made a mistake and nobody wants to be judged by one mistake. He's done a lot of great things. If everybody keeps that in perspective and sees what a great guy and what a good leader he is, it will be kind of irrelevant what he did. As for the aftermath, we all said what we wanted to say to Wash. We told him we were supportive. It's a pretty cohesive unit. Some guys had stuff to say, but it was in support of him. When we're in that room and it's all silent and you don't know what it's going to be. It was a surprise.
We all went down to the press conference after the meeting. We all saw on TV with A-Rod at his conference last year and how his buddies were in the front row and lining the walls. You have to think about it. That's what you would want in that position. Josh Hamilton had teammates at his press conference. It was a show of support. That's all we have right now in this game is each other. Nobody went around saying, 'Everybody go to the conference.' It was something we all thought we should do and we did.
For me, I'm kind of oblivious to some of these things. I just like to have a good time and have fun in spring training and get our work done. It seems like business as usual. I said, "Hi Wash, what's up?" and he said, "Doing good O'Die, how 'bout you?" I'm sure there will be more obstacles as we go to more hostile stadiums. I'm sure there will be some refreshing of the incident there, but as of now, we're focused on Opening Day, getting this team together and going for it.
Today (Thursday) was a little different for me because Scott Servais asked me to go watch a guy throw that's changing from overhand to sidearm. His name is Cody Eppley. He wanted me to come down there and watch him throw and talk to him about it. He's watched some of my tape. He pitched the whole year at sidearm last year and is trying to refine his game. It's cool to see. For somebody that watches a lot of tape of sidearmers pitch, it's neat to know that somebody else is watching me. He's a great kid, very intelligent, very receptive and has a great idea. I told him he was further along than I was. I've been pitching sidearm since 2002 and he's close behind me in terms of the thought process in pitching sidearm because it's different. He's got a lot of potential. He could be taking my job in a few years. Maybe I'm teaching him too well.
I'm also glad that I didn't fill out a bracket for the NCAA Tournament. I wasn't going to donate any money to any pools. Somebody's wife is going to win that thing because they liked the team colors or mascot names. I'm not going to give that guy's wife any money this year. So there.