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Friday, November 18, 2011
Ron Washington: 'We will move forward'

By Jeff Caplan

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington said he'll never forget Game 6 of the World Series, his team twice one strike, one out removed from winning the franchise's first championship.

"I don't think you can ever forget it, but I do know that with all my heart we put ourselves in a great position and we didn't get it done, and obviously that's the way baseball happens," Washington said. "You pick yourself up and you go back at it again, which is what we've done the whole year. We've had times when things didn't go our way, had times when it was devastating. But, after each time something like that happens, we didn't back off, we stood up, we were men, we handled it and we moved forward. And we will handle this, we will move forward."

Still, it doesn't help the pain of being so close only to come up short. There are numerous opportunities for second-guessing and looking back and asking, 'What if?' Washington said he's not oblivious to any of that. He said he catches himself thinking what might happened if a bounce here or there goes the other way.

"Yeah, what if Neftali Feliz would have made the pitch that we needed. What if Cruz would have caught that ball," Washington said. "What Darren Oliver would have got those two left-handers out and faced that pitcher. What if? But, as far as second-guessing myself, I made a decision and I've always been the kind of person that stood up to what I decided to do. I made my decision and we were in position to win a World Series. We didn't get it done."

* Washington said he had yet to talk to general manager Jon Daniels, but a meeting was set for later Friday afternoon. One topic on the agenda will be the possibility of moving closer Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation. The Rangers want to make that decision prior to spring training, and likely well before, but they first want to see if C.J. Wilson will return and how the bullpen shapes up.

* He reiterated that Feliz was not in positive mental state upon leaving the ninth of Game 6 and therefore Washington didn't feel comfortable going back to him in the 10th. Washington also repeated that the Cardinals' 10th-inning lineup that started with two light-hitting lefties followed the pitcher's spot set up perfectly for Oliver. "On paper," Washington said.

* Washington said he is in favor of the Houston Astros joining the AL West in 2013 mostly because it affords the Rangers a lone short trip within the division.