Smiling Ron Washington: Don't jump ship
That isn't going to change because an American League afterthought like the Kansas City Royals came to town and swept a two-game series. The Rangers' relentless optimism isn't going to fade just because a team now tied for the AL's best record (23-14) is a game under .500 since its 13-3 start.
In fact, Washington and his group of grinders find words like "worry" and "concern" funny, especially in the middle of May.
"Don't jump off the ship," Washington said with a grin as he headed back to his office following his postgame press conference after Tuesday's 7-4 loss to the Royals. "You'll sink. We'll return as a submarine and you can't get back on."
The Rangers have overcome a heck of a lot tougher situations en route to morphing into one of baseball's model franchises over the last few years.
Heck, just look back at their road to the club's first World Series, when the revelation of the manager's one-time cocaine use was a spring training stunner, the franchise's bankruptcy and rocky ownership transfer dominated headlines for most of the regular season, the Rangers almost blew a 2-0 lead before recovering to finally win a playoff series and they coughed up Game 1 to the mighty Yankees with a bullpen meltdown only to rebound by dismissing one of the most storied franchises in baseball.
It was that season that the Rangers started constantly referring to themselves as resilient. That's become part of their identity since then as the core has continued to play together and grow stronger.
Resiliency really is a combination of confidence and grit, two characteristics that can be found in abundance in the Rangers' clubhouse.
"We feel like we're always one pitch from turning anything around," Michael Young said. "That's one reason why I think we're a really good team.
"We believe in ourselves. Every guy individually here knows what they're capable of doing in this game. You combine that with some mental toughness and you're always one pitch, one at-bat, one swing from getting right back to where you want to be."
The Rangers are right where they want to be at the moment, sitting atop the AL West standings as the second-place Oakland A's come to town. Texas just hasn't played good baseball consistently over the last month.
The Rangers will report to work Wednesday afternoon expecting that to change for the better. That's just the way Wash's Rangers roll ... or float.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.