Monday, September 13, 2010
Team meeting helped get winning vibe back
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sometimes too much can be made of team meetings. Clubs that are struggling or need a kick in the pants tend to call them.
That really hasn't been an issue for the Rangers much in 2010. But after losing their fifth straight game on Tuesday in Toronto, some of the leaders of the club, including Michael Young and Ian Kinsler, called a meeting.
"It was a chance for some guys to get things off their chest and for us to come together again as a team," Young said. "You have to feel free to communicate things as teammates and we were able to do that. I'll leave it at that."
I was told it wasn't a long meeting and that there wasn't any hanging of heads. It was more a chance to regroup and make sure individually and as a team that everyone was focused and on the same page.
Since that meeting, the Rangers are 5-0 with a split against the Blue Jays and a sweep of the Yankees. The lead is 8.5 games in the AL West and the team is playing well again.
Is it a coincidence that they've played better since the meeting? I don't think so. I think in the course of a long season that sometimes these get-togethers are needed. Kinsler, Young and others felt that was the case and addressed some things. That's what leaders do.
Remember, this is the first time for most of these players in trying to clinch a division title. A losing steak like that one was bound to pop up (and it could again). But this club showed some resolve this weekend. They know they'll have to continue to play well, not only to build momentum for the playoffs, but to keep the A's from going on an extended run to make things interesting.