While We Rip the Rangers, Let's Praise Ron Washington

I was thinking the other day - after another mindless, rambling post-game press conference - at how Texas Rangers' manager Ron Washington was deteriorating into weirdspeak. He not only trips over simple subject-verb conjugation, but recently his synopsis has read like a play-by-play review.

"They got a couple early, but we came back and in the end we scored more than they did," Wash seemed to say most nights.

After Tuesday night's frustrating, 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, I expected something along the lines of "we couldn't catch a break" or "yadda, yadda and more yadda."

But, no, props to the manager. Watching the Rangers squander a two-run lead with only four outs to get and Cliff Lee on the mound made more than just you and me angry.

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"We've got to get our heads outta our butts and play better baseball tomorrow," Washington said in the clubhouse, disgustedly tossing his cap and pack of cigarettes.

Brah. Vo.

Lee again pitched into the eighth inning and again deserved better support. This time, however, he needed defensive support.

Leading 4-2 with one out in the eighth, B.J. Uptown squirted a blooper that inexplicably fell between second baseman Joaquin Arias and Brandon Boggs and resulted in a double. After an infield hit put runners at the corners, the speedy Carl Crawford sent a grounder to Arias. Instead of charging and making the sure out at first, Arias waited on the ball and then inexplicably attempted to get the force out at second. Too late.

Instead of a 4-3 lead with a runner on second and two outs, the Rangers now led 4-3 with two runners on only one out.

"We've got to get an out there," grumbled Washington, who calls out his players in public about as often as I watch Amish porn.

I only half-blame Arias for the blooper, as Boggs slowed up instead of taking charge. But the grounder was clearly a mental hiccup. Compounding the problem, Evan Longoria then stroked a liner to shorstop, where Elvis Andrus frustratingly waved it into center field for a game-tying single. Sure looked like Elvis was trying to make a spectacular snag and turn it into a double play.

Washington groused that Lee, who is now 2-3 in Texas, should have only faced four batters in the inning. Instead, the Rays wound up getting four runs.

Bad night. But it was good to hear Washington tell the truth.

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