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 GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
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Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.