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As some of you know, I’m an occasional participant in the Dullest Moaning Snooze’s  baseball blog.

After the Tex-ass stRangerS’ 3-2 loss to Cleveland (Cleveland?) yesterday, I opined here that it was “another nail in (manager) Ron Washington’s managerial coffin”.

For that, I was somewhat semi-roasted.

Well, you guys know me.

MERLIN:  Do we ever.

VENOMOUS:  Oh, hush.

MERLIN

Anyway, my response to everyone who took a shot at me is below the fold.  It’s more for them than for you guys, but feel free to read it anyway. 

Okay, now that I’ve had a chance to get all the work stuff out of the way, I can respond to some of my fan mail. (cough)

“Yeah, Spats! What was Washington thinking, telling the offense not to hit?”

Son, the last person on this blog that tried being a smart-*** with me got his head handed to him. He didn’t come back much after that.

Word to the wise. And you.

Now. Looked to me today like the Rangers, while not bashing the ball all over the park, had hit enough to have amassed a 2-0 lead. I’d say that that seemed enough to win the game, given a closer that throws in the 100s.

Yeah, I’d like to have seen a 13-3 rout, but you don’t get those every day, do you?

Now for Mr…uh…well…Norm:

“I can understand Wash trying to nurse Harrison through the 8th. And I think any criticism of the decision is unreasonable.”

Really. Do you, now? So you have no problem leaving a pitcher who only last year had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and whom had already thrown about 110 pitches or so, out there to pitch to the go-ahead run with what was very likely a fatigued arm at that point?

Ooooooooo…kayyyyyy. (Cue the rolling eyes here.)

“It’s also reasonable to assume that Wash wanted a fully-rested bullpen for this weekend in New York”

Well, here’s a question for you: what if the Yankees & Red Sox don’t ever trail Texas this weekend – or worse, bomb the crap out of the pitching staff? What if the Rangers never even get the _chance_ to use either Oliver, Frankie Frank or Feliz? (It’s less of a chance this year than prior years, but work with me here.) You will have then wasted a chance to win a game you should have won, all for a scenario that never presented itself.

The point: Use what you have when you need it. You won’t get that chance again. This game has a funny way of making yesterday’s decisions look stupid today or tomorrow.

Awright, now for our next contestant…

“How are errors by Michael Young and Elvis Andrus Wash’s fault? Yeah, it’s the manager! Give me a break buddy.

Guess the players aren’t responsible for the loss?”

If Washington brings in his bullpen at that point, and they _still_ tank, okay, we can rip both MY and Andrus – and probably still should, anyway.

That said, a fresh arm was still the best course of action at that point, and RW didn’t exercise it. This has been a weakness of his throughout his entire time here – he’s never handled a pitching staff as well as a major league manager ought to. And it’s already cost him three games this year.

Now, the first one Frankie bombed, I’ll give him that one – who knew? But not after that. RW has _got_ to learn how to better manage a pitching staff if he wants to win here.

Next…

“Not the guys who objectively question the managers in-game decisions…but the guys who BLAME every loss on the manager. (see spats)

No offense spats.”

None necessarily taken, Red. I’m hoping you’ve at least been around long enough to know I don’t just mindlessly rant about this stuff.

And I’m not blaming _every_ loss directly on Wash. Harden’s first start was pure crap. _He_ needs to learn to pitch more efficiently. He’d better, because Tommy-gun will be back soon, and I can see making him the #2 and putting Harden in middle relief. (No, I don’t care what his salary is. If he can only go once through the order like he did against TOR, he’s a middle-inning guy.)

Now there are a couple more things I need to remind you guys of:

1) RW is on a short leash this year. JD & Nolan haven’t said as much, but there’s a reason Wash doesn’t have his extension for last year’s success. If the Rangers aren’t squarely in contention on June 1, I think that we can start the Wash Watch. Ergo, he can’t afford to be giving games away this early.

2) How many times have we been told the last two-three years that _this_ year was what this franchise was shooting for? All the crappy trades – Young for Eaton/Aki, Danks for Herky-Jerky McStringbean, Volquez for Hamilton (who really needs to prove he’s more than just a one-half-season wonder), letting Galarraga go to Detroit for nothing – all of that, plus the subsequent deals for Salty, Andrus, etc. – we’ve been asked to bear with JD & company through all that, plus the mediocre baseball that followed, because in 2010, they were supposed to turn it on and begin the serious competition, not just for a division crown, but for their first World Series berth.

Remember that?

I do. Every time one of us screamed about the lousy trades, or about JD, or whatever, it was “Wait until 2010 – that’s when the kids will have all grown up and we can start seriously competing for a pennant…”

So this year, yeah – the standards are a little higher. As they should be. It’s put-up-or-shut-up time for JD, Nolan and RW. They need to be playing meaningful games in _late_ September (and beyond) if they want to be taken seriously going forward.

So far, I’m not terribly impressed.




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