It was a pretty clear message that Rangers manager Ron Washington wanted to convey in a 30-minute impromptu meeting after a 15-6 loss Thursday in Arlington.
The skipper wanted to see commitment from his players.
Washington said that, despite the Rangers losing 19 of 22 games, his team hasn’t lacked effort. “Effort” describing running out grounders, going full speed for fly balls and applying the reactionary elements of the game.
“Commitment is to do what the game asks you to do,” Washington said. “It’s knowing what you’re capable of doing and doing it, not trying to do something somebody else has the capability of doing.”
It’s not looking for a reward for doing what you’re supposed to do, he said.
“I’m in the process of trying to get this new group to understand what that means.”
According to Washington, the key word there is process. It takes time to build winners -- like he did from his inaugural season as Rangers manager in 2007 until the back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and ‘11 -- and instill that commitment in a squad made up of guys playing one or two levels above where anyone dreamed they would be four months ago.
But it’s not just about teaching that commitment. The meeting after Thursday night’s debacle was held with the goal in mind of a complete attitude readjustment, Washington said.
“You put me in that box? I’ll fight...And I’m 62 years old,” Wash said, as pugnacious as ever in his usually mellow pregame media session in the depths of Globe Life Park. “You’re telling me you’re 20-something and you can’t fight? Don’t worry about failure.
“You can do everything right in this game and not get the result you’re looking for. I can live with it when you’re trying to do the right thing.”
Washington added, both Thursday night and before Friday’s game, that Adrian Beltre is the example for his young players.
“In this game, showing what needs to be done is more valuable than telling somebody what needs to be done,” Wash said. “Beltre is a show-er. It’s invaluable.”
Sunday’s starter is still TBD… Scott Baker is a likely candidate, but if he’s needed in Friday or Saturday’s game, the club will figure out someone to come up and make a spot start, Washington said… Shin-Soo Choo will DH for the rest of the weekend, and see how his ankle feels on the turf field at Toronto after the All-Star break… Engel Beltre was transferred to Frisco from Round Rock to continue a rehab assignment.