GRAPEVINE, Texas - The Texas Rangers are currently riding their first two-game winning streak since June 27-28. The Rangers' 3-1 win against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday afternoon pushed their record to 45-69, just two games back of the Houston Astros for fourth place in the American League West.
Pathetic accomplishments aside, what is left for the Rangers to evaluate now are individual players, and whether the manager can make the players care. Ron Washington's results on the latter have been sporadic.
One of the great challenges for any big league manager is to inspire a group of veterans to run it out when the season is gone. They shouldn't have to be reminded that they are paid to do a job, but they are human. This is a team that had been "around it" for years, and now they are done.
The Rangers' season has been gone June 17, when they dropped under .500 and have stayed there ever since.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, who on Wednesday afternoon was attending an MLB RBI event at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas believes the overall effort has improved.
That speaks well of the manager, and provided JD's evaluation remains as such after the season ends means Wash' will return in 2015. He has one more year remaining on his contract.
I asked JD if he was OK with the effort he has seen from the players.
"I feel better about us since (the All-Star) break; we were not playing a good brand of baseball," JD said. "We were beating ourselves. Since the All-Star break, we have played better. We have been more competitive since the break."
JD is not going to publicly threaten his manager, but there are ways to raise a warning flag, which he did not.
This does not mean Wash' is a lock to return. There is always that chance the remaining veterans begin mailing it in, and whatever effort evaporates in the heat.
For Wash' to be judged based on the results of this team is a waste; the roster is not good enough, and there is not enough pitching. No manager would win with this team.
Wash' should be evaluated on whether this team runs it out, both in terms of at bats, pitches and to the end of the season.
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