Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Manager meets with bunters, speedsters
By Richard Durrett
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington took the opportunity Wednesday morning to meet with a small group of players that included the speed guys and those that will likely get the most chances to bunt during the season.
"We got a chance to sit around and talk about baseball and see what they know and what they don't know," Washington said. "We've got a lot of youth in camp and we want to get them as relaxed as we can and get them to understand that the things we're asking them to do, they're capable of doing. It's all constructive. It's not saying anything bad. It's just that we're not accepting of not executing."
It was a classroom setting, or as Washington referred to it, a "chalkboard session," and a chance for the manager to reiterate some of the fundamentals. After each half-inning of Tuesday's intrasquad game, the coaches put a runner or two on base and asked a hitter to bunt. They had 11 chances Tuesday and got a bunt down 10 times. On four of those times, the runner was thrown out at third base, and two times the runner beat out the throw at first. Washington wants to see his team do a better job.
"None of the bunts were really executed properly," Washington said. "The key is we got them down. Now we just have to execute right."
Washington said he also discussed baserunning, reminding players to be smart and aggressive. He took each situation and went through it with the players, making sure they understood what they were supposed to be doing.
"We've got so much youth around here that we wanted to have some classroom sessions," Washington said.