Thursday, December 10, 2009

Texas Rangers Manager Ron Washington comments, 12/9/09

Ron Washington:
Kinsler is young and it's [Kinsler's uppercut swing + swinging for the fences] being addressed on a daily basis, but some wild horses, you have to let be wild horses. His style is his style. The change has to be made by Kinsler. In time, he will recognize that and will change. But right now, he's still something of a wild stallion.
So, basically, at this point, Kinsler is uncoachable. This jibes with my amateur psychology speculation that it's Kinsler's hardheadedness which got him to the major leagues when a thousand guys like him never made it, yet that very same hardheadedness - which is in some ways Kinsler's greatest strength - is currently preventing Kinsler from reaching his potential. This is a suck eggs situation for the team, and also for me: I can't stand watching Kinsler hit the same way he hit last season.

More of my amateur psychology: Ron Washington - who was a scrappy hitter - doesn't know how to manage immensely powerful hitters like Nelson Cruz. Ron Washington is like a father who mercilessly rides and criticizes one of his sons; who never gives that son any credit.

Ron Washington :
It's important that we sign a right-handed bat, even if we don't get it done in the winter meetings. We have to be very creative in how we do that because of the current financial state. Cruz did provide some protection, but in August and September the league made some adjustments and we don't know if that's the real Nelson Cruz or not. I still would like to keep as much pressure off him as possible in the middle, somebody with a more veteran track record.
Translation: Nelson Cruz was good last year, but I, Ron Washington, think it was a fluke. I don't think Cruz is actually as good as he looked last season. Also, he's a rock-head who can't make adjustments at the plate.

Other Washington observations:
- Enthusiastic about Chris Davis bouncing back
- Still cautious about risk of re-injury to Teagarden's back. Team needs catching depth for this reason.
- We're going to stretch C.J. Wilson out (as a starter), then see what our needs are at the end of Spring Training.
- McCarthy has definite major league ability; can win ballgames at this level.

Washington, on veteran players:
The key is to be a professional. And who knows more about being a professional than veterans? There is a way you act, a way you dress, a way you show respect, a way you go about your routine. I think leadership is essential to winning. How can youth take on leadership when they haven't been there to lead?
Translation: I hate young players! Well, not really, but sort of. Alternate translation: Michael Young is too square, in some respects, for young players to follow his lead. We need other veterans.

My take: needing veterans is understandable - especially if you've the talent to be in a pennant race, you need veteran presence to calm and inspire and discipline your younger players. Still, it's a bit of a shame, as every veteran on a one year contract is on the 40 man at cost of a young and promising player who is controllable for 6 years, and who is dirt cheap for 3 of those years.

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