Randy Galloway's latest column has popped up on the interwebs, and there are several things noteworthy enough that I thought I'd make a separate post out of it, rather than waiting to just include it in the links tomorrow morning.
The whole theme of the column is that the front office better start working on finding scapegoats if the Rangers don't win the A.L. West this season, because last year the front office blamed Michael Young and Ron Washington, and that won't work this year.
The Michael Young thing confuses me, but here's what Galloway says:
The media blame went to Ron Washington for "wearing out" his team. The blame also went to Michael Young because he was Michael Young and some members of the front office hated him.
In covering the Rangers since they arrived in 1972, I ranked it as the most asinine excuses in franchise history. Totally unacceptable.
But it worked. Man, did it ever work, thanks to some local media members spreading the front-office gospel.
* * *
The Michael Young/Ron Washington disgraceful excuse of last September won’t fly this time, even for those media members stupid enough to fall for it and spread it a year ago.
I don't live in D/FW, so maybe I missed out on radio or TV folks railing on Michael Young, but from what I recall, the print media I saw pretty much gave Young a pass on what was a disastrous season overall.
Maybe Galloway is including me in the "media," though. If so, I guess I should be flattered, although no one from the front office is providing me with any talking points.
Galloway also says that the front office ordered Wash to start playing Jurickson Profar every day as of about six weeks ago, and specifically praises Profar for his performance, while specifically singling out Ian Kinsler as not doing his job.
The fact that Profar is playing because of a directive from the front office isn't exactly shocking, but it is interesting that happened after the front office wanted Profar (and Mike Olt) to play down the stretch last season, and it didn't happen.
But the most interesting part of all this was his saying that Wash doesn't really think he rode his players too hard last season:
Even Washington himself would finally say in the off-season he probably didn’t give his regulars enough rest. Knowing RonWash did not believe what he was saying, I asked him why he did it.
"There was so much finger-pointing, I needed to stop the finger-pointing," he answered in spring training. "The manager needed to step up and take the blame."
Which would explain, I guess, why Wash has had Ian Kinsler play every inning of every game since Kinsler came off the d.l., and why he played Nelson Cruz so much before Cruz's suspension, and why Adrian Beltre has missed only two games this season (a pair of games in early June when he was dealing with a strained hamstring). If Wash doesn't really believe he rode his position players too hard last season, there's no reason to play them any less this season (though Galloway says this is perhaps the most well-rested team in MLB history right now).
In any case, we talked about this quite a bit at the time, but last year's Ranger team was one of only nine teams in MLB history to have at least five position players appear in at least 156 games. I'm pretty sure the Rangers' played more games in 95+ degree heat than any of those other eight.
So, if Randy Galloway and Ron Washington think that Wash didn't ride his position players too hard last season, they are probably the only two people who do believe that.