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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Give Ron Washington his due

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- ESPNDallas.com columnist Jim Reeves wrote about Rangers manager Ron Washington and how important he's been to the club so far this season.

He wrote the story before last night, when an unorthodox decision paid off for the manager. It was surprising to see both Michael Young and Elvis Andrus out of the lineup together on Tuesday. I'm in favor of getting both players rest. That's especially true of Young, who had played every game this season before last night.

But the Rangers had lost four of the last six (two straight series) and were in need of a win. And despite playing the Indians, it seemed like Washington was rolling the dice to sit both of them at the same time.

"My gut tells me they need a break," Washington said before the game.

Washington said Young didn't look like his usual self the last four or five games. He made two errors on Sunday and seemed to be a little out of sync. Washington talked to Young on Monday and they decided Tuesday was a good day to take off. Andrus was dealing with some nagging injuries and Washington wanted him to have a night off.

The result was a lineup that looked strange. Julio Borbon was moved to leadoff and both Joaquin Arias (shortstop) and Andres Blanco (third base) were starting.

And both were big factors in the Rangers' 12-run outburst. Arias had four RBIs, tying a career high. Blanco had a two-RBI double to break open a tie game. In the process, two role players feel like they've contributed and have gained some more confidence.

"I just felt it was time to do it," Washington said after the game, saying he didn't feel it was a risk.

So give Washington some credit for another good move. My bet is that Young and Andrus both play well on Wednesday after a day off, too.