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Rangers keep faith in Joe Nathan

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers haven't even played their first road game of 2012 and already there are fans wanting a change at closer.

Rangers manager Ron Washington made it clear Thursday that Nathan's role isn't changing based on one inconsistent week.

"Joe Nathan is proven," Washington said. "He's going to get his opportunity with the Texas Rangers to prove he can close games. I don't want him looking over his back and I don't want him doubting himself. He's my closer. When he's ready to go again, he'll get the ball. And if he goes back-to-back days, I'm going to give it to him."

But things have to improve. This is a club with the highest of expectations, thanks to consecutive trips to the World Series. They'll stay patient because one of Washington's best traits is trusting his players and avoiding a tendency to overreact.

And with Nathan's resume, it's easier to believe the veteran will figure it out despite an inconsistent spring and first-week struggles.

Read more on Nathan and the Rangers' closer situation here.