A win yesterday for the Rangers, and a pretty good start for Robinson Tejeda. Yeah, he ran out of gas at the end, and ended up allowing 6 runs, but you know, at this point, I'll take it as progress.
Evan Grant says that the Rangers have to figure out this season if Tejeda and Brandon McCarthy are going to be part of the future, with Tejeda being more aggressive for most of yesterday's game.
Grant also has some notes about Beavan's comments during the Ranger broadcast on Thursday making the rounds, with Jon Daniels saying Beavan didn't exercise the best judgment...
Todd Wills has a piece on John Mayberry Jr., although he seems to sort of be tiptoeing around the fact that Mayberry, at this point, has to be considered something of a disappointment.
The S-T columnists continue their tag-team regarding the Rangers, with Jim Reeves following up Galloway's "Washington needs to go" column with one of his own, covering much the same territory:
What does he do when his "players' manager" has alienated his players and split the clubhouse far worse than Buck Showalter ever did?
What does he do when Ron Washington seemingly goes out of his way to pick a fight with Mark Teixeira, the team's star player, and everyone in the clubhouse knows it?
Or when the team's veteran No. 1 starting pitcher has to intervene because Washington is in the process of humiliating the first-year starting catcher in the dugout, in front of his teammates?
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But we've gotten away from Daniels' more immediate problem, and that's determining if Washington can regain the confidence of his players or whether he's completely destroyed his own credibility.
Personally, I fear it's the latter. Any manager ought to be smart enough not to alienate his best player, especially one as hard-working and dedicated as Teixeira.
Teixeira is not a selfish player. He will work the count. He walked a career-high 89 times last season. The rest of his numbers speak for themselves.
This isn't the guy you bring into your office and scream at behind closed doors, where everyone else can hear. There may be one or two players in that clubhouse who would respond to that. Tex isn't one of them, and if Washington doesn't recognize that, then he probably doesn't need to be managing.
Berating Gerald Laird in front of his peers for the failures of this pitching staff may be even worse. Kevin Millwood stepping up for Laird at least shows these players care about each other.
Washington came into a tough situation, inheriting coaches he didn't know, taking over what was believed to be an underachieving team and then having to watch his starting rotation disintegrate in front of his eyes every night.
But what has he done to give Daniels confidence that he can ultimately get the job done?
Maybe Washington was a coach so long that he just doesn't know how to lead, doesn't know when to pat someone on the back and when to chew them out. But what you don't do to a major-leaguer is embarrass him in front of his teammates.
This isn't just another bump in the road. This is a major, possibly irreparable, rift.
Again, I don't have the answer to this. I don't really know.
But if this is going on behind the scenes, it is a pretty major problem.
And if this is going on behind the scenes, it is a pretty serious indictment of the decision Daniels made to hire Washington in the first place.