Friday, July 11, 2014
Washington's message centers on commitment
By Randy Jennings
Special to ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington gave a little more insight Friday to the clubhouse meeting he called after Thursday's 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
"Mainly, I want to see commitment," Washington said during his pregame media conference before Friday's game against the Angels. "They're giving the effort. Effort is when you hit a ground ball, you run it out. Or a fly ball, you go at it.
"Commitment is doing what the game asks you to do. Not doing something that somebody else has the ability to do and you don't. Commitment is not looking for a reward after doing what you're supposed to do.
"We're in the process of getting the new guys to understand what this means. It's a process. I've been in the process all my life. I want committed people. I don't want just one guy to get paid. I want all of us to get paid. And the only way that can happen, we've got to win."
Texas has lost five straight and 19 of 22 to fall to the bottom of the AL West standings.
Washington said he can live with a player who doesn't get the desired result when trying to do the right thing -- like taking a pitch or sacrificing an at-bat to get a runner over.
"If you do the right thing more times than not you'll get the results you're looking for," he said.
Washington said the Rangers' younger players have a role model in third baseman Adrian Beltre. Just as it was a few years before with Michael Young.
"In this game, showing what needs to be done is more important than telling them what needs to be done," the manager said.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus, unlike many of the newer Rangers, has heard Washington's words before in a clubhouse meeting.
"Everything he said is right," Andrus said. "Wash is super cool, but it got to the point where he needed say some things.
"He's always into it. He has passion. I'm all for it."
Andrus is back in the lineup after missing the last five innings of Thursday's 15-6 loss to the Angels when he tweaked his ankle turning a double play.
Dream start: Hot-hitting rookie Jake Smolinski, batting .571, draws his fourth straight start and his parents will once again be in the stands at Globe Life Park. He'll be in left field and bat sixth.
"This has been something I'll never forget," said Smolinski, now 8-for-14 at the plate with three doubles and four RBIs. "I don't want to get caught up in numbers. I just want to make sure I'm giving 100 percent and whatever happens, happens."
Smolinski has noticed the scouting reports are a lot better in the big leagues. And that it is difficult to track a line drive to left field at Globe Life Park before the sun sets.
Roster moves: The Rangers made a couple of moves on Friday, signing well-traveled 32-year-old right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams to a contract with Triple-A Round Rock and shifting outfielder Engel Beltre from Round Rock to Double-A Frisco to continue his rehab assignment.
Williams was recently released by the Astros. He also has played for the Giants, Cubs, Nationals, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics and Angels. His first start for Round Rock would likely be Sunday.