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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Nolan Ryan: No 2nd-guessing manager

By Jeff Caplan

ST. LOUIS -- Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan sits on the front row for most games, but he said he resists the urge to play armchair manager.

"Obviously, when you're not involved it's easy to second-guess things," Ryan said Thursday prior to Game 2 of the World Series that his Rangers trail 1-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals. "I don't second-guess our manager because he knows what's going on with his ballclub and his players, and he has a better feel for that than I do because he lives with these guys."

Washington was severely second-guessed after Game 1 for his managerial moves in the seventh inning. With the Cardinals leading 3-2 and the Rangers threatening with two on and one out, Washington pinch-hit Craig Gentry for David Murphy to avoid a left-lefty matchup, and then surprisingly sent up Esteban German for his first postseason at-bat instead of catcher Yorvit Torrealba to pinch-hit for pitcher Alexi Ogando.

Gentry struck out looking and German went down swinging on three pitches to end the inning.

Washington said he played the percentages going to Gentry against Cardinals lefty Marc Rzepczynski, and the chose German because he's a good contact hitter.

"You've got to give credit to Marc; he executed his pitches, and he eliminated Gentry," Washington said. "And I went to German simply because he's a very good contact hitter. He knows the strike zone extremely well, and once again, Marc executed his pitches, and when pitchers execute, usually the results that we got is what you get."

Those decisions were picked apart by the media, but Ryan, who might be surprised at times by a move or even disagree, said he will allow his manager the space to manage.

"That's why you have him, you have confidence and faith in him," Ryan said. "So, I think that when you hire somebody like we have in Ron, you put your faith in him and you've done the job and you don't second-guess him. He has a better feel for it than anybody else."