ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rangers president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels say there have been no discussions about a managerial change during another tough April stretch.
Texas was 3-0 for the first time since 1996, the season of its first AL West title. But the Rangers have since lost seven of nine games, again raising questions about the future of third-year manager Ron Washington.
"I think Ron's fine. I don't see anything that concerns me," Ryan said Monday, insisting that any speculation about Washington is coming from outside the organization.
"Ron's our manager," Daniels said. "I read about a lot of stuff, but there's been zero discussions to the contrary."
The Rangers (5-7), who had a day off Monday, have the same record as they did a year ago, when Ryan had been the team's president for only a couple of months. The team then lost nine of 11 games, creating intense rumors that Washington could be fired.
A six-game roadtrip begins Tuesday at AL East-leading Toronto.
"As a whole, when you look at the two weeks, I'm pretty happy with where we are," Ryan said. "I'd like to see our record flip-flopped, but under the circumstances, (Sunday's) win was big for us, and we go on the road in a good frame of mind."
Texas avoided being swept in a home series against Kansas City when Michael Young hit a home run leading off the ninth Sunday for a 6-5 victory, after the Rangers scored twice in the eighth to tie the game.
"We have to take this and it has to carry over," Marlon Byrd said. "If not, it's pointless to have a win like this."
The only other win in the six-game homestand was 19-6 in the finale against Baltimore, when Ian Kinsler went 6-for-6 with a cycle, Byrd had five hits and Nelson Cruz had a grand slam and two-run double.
Their follow-up to that big game: the Rangers trailed their next game 12-0 against the Royals before three solo home runs the final two innings, then lost 2-0 Saturday to Zack Greinke, wasting another standout start by Kevin Millwood (1-1, 1.17 ERA).
"What I would hope that we see on this road trip is a little more consistency with the pitching and our hitting lineup," Ryan said.
Washington, 159-177 in his third season, signed a two-year deal with two one-year club options when he replaced Buck Showalter. The Rangers exercised the 2009 option late in his first season, but have not yet addressed the option for next season.
"Other than getting Ws, I feel like we've been playing pretty good baseball," Washington said after Sunday's game. "As we go along, it's going to get better. We will catch up. I do believe it. ... We haven't played as bad a baseball to this point this year as we did last year. We haven't."
Texas isn't even last in the AL West, tied with Oakland at 2 1/2 games behind Seattle and a game ahead of the defending champion Los Angeles Angels. And the Rangers are the only team not currently with a multiple-game losing streak.
But after their 3-0 start, the Rangers were swept in three games at Detroit. They lost the opener 15-2 and got swept even after Millwood left the finale with a 4-0 lead after seven innings. Then came the series losses at home against Baltimore and Kansas City.
"It's not even frustration, it's to the point of being furious with ourselves because we're a better team," Byrd said.
Texas leads the majors with 24 home runs, even though slugger Josh Hamilton has only one and is mired in a 2-for-17 slump with 10 strikeouts the last four games. Kinsler leads the majors with 23 hits and his .460 average is third.
"We understand we're a really good offensive team, at the same time it seems like it takes us a little while to get going or it takes something big to get us going," Kinsler said. "We just need to be more consistent."
After being 7-16 a year ago, the Rangers won six consecutive series. They peaked at six games over .500 in August before finishing 79-83 and in second place in the AL West, 21 games behind the Angels.
"We're not thinking about how we're going to do in April, we're thinking about our next ball game," Young said. "If we keep that attitude, we feel like things are going to turn around quicker than they did last year."
Associated Press writer Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
|< Prev||Next >|