ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hours before the biggest series of the year (at least so far), Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was making jokes and laughing with the media in his office.
He did not look like a man in charge of a team that had been blown out for three consecutive games and watched its lead shrink to a mere two games in the American League West. He was relaxed and confident -- enough, in fact, to share his belief that his team wasn't scared of Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on short rest, saying they aren't Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax -- as he prepared for Friday's tilt with the hard-charging Los Angeles Angels. Anaheim came in with a six-game winning streak and all the momentum, hoping to scare the Rangers enough to leave Arlington on top of the division.
Some managers would have called a team meeting and preached the importance of bouncing back. But that wasn't how Washington wanted to handle it. He didn't see any reason to remind his players of what they already knew.
"I think we understand what happened [against Boston]," Washington said after the game. "We didn't throw balls all around the place. Boston beat us. When you get beat and you understand why it happened, why should you put any more tension on yourself than is already there at this point of the season? We got thoroughly beat. It happens. We've thoroughly beat people, and sometimes you get beat. Each day is a different day. Tonight, we played better than Anaheim. Tomorrow, we'll have to see."