Rangers' manager Ron Washington loves status quo. Likes the same ol' routine of it all. When something extraordinary happens in the game he delivers his pet philosophical phrase:
"That's the way baseball go."
But in the midst of watching his team lose seven of nine games and seven of eight series with an offense that scored three or fewer runs in half of its last 30 games, the manager who hates change ... changed.
The catalyst? A Seinfeld rerun Monday night, the one where George decides to yank his miserable life out of the gutter by doing the opposite of everything that feels natural.
Julio Borbon, who has batted ninth all year, was in the lead-off spot last night against the Oakland A's. For the first time in his career Michael Young hit clean-up. And after leading off in all 34 of his starts, Ian Kinsler was bumped down to third.
Explained Washington, "Let's see if I'm smart or not."
With a big assist from a strong start by Colby Lewis, the shuffle -- at least for a night -- worked like magic.
The Rangers pounded out 11 hits, produced 18 base-runners and scored seven runs in an easy, 7-2 win over Oakland. Borbon beat out an infield single, Kinsler had a hit, Adrian Beltre (shoved down to sixth in the order) smashed a two-run homer and Young, as usual, wasn't bad, either.
Where would the Rangers be without the guy that at one point in January seemed destined to be gone?
Whether he's playing first, second, shortstop, third or designated hitter, Young is hitting. Last night he had a single, double and two-run triple before walking in the 8th with a six-run lead.
Give credit to Young for being a professional, and credit to Washington for not being too inflexible. Sometimes, even in baseball, a simple swapping of seats delivers a better view.
That's the way change go.
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