For the first time since the Texas Rangers lost a gut-wrenching World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals, Ron Washington spoke on several issues during a Wednesday morning appearance on the "Ben and Skin Show" on 103.3 FM ESPN, from his clubhouse speech prior to Game 7 being leaked by a team staff member, to C.J. Wilson's free agency and the rotation, to his candidacy for manager of the year (which will be announced at 1 p.m.).
First off, Washington's expletive-laced, spine-tingling pre-game speech, a private clubhouse moment that also included remarks from Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, was supposedly leaked by an acquaintance of a Rangers staff member to an obscure website, the team said. Once the website posted the audio, the fiery speech went viral.
The club investigated the incident and handled disciplinary actions in-house, general manager Jon Daniels said.
"I got phone calls from friends that heard it on the Internet and they were excited. They were ready to go out on the field and play some baseball," Washington said. "That was the real purpose of it. But, it was us, it was the Texas Rangers in there talking and trying to get fired up and understand what was at stake. We went out there and jumped on them [the Cardinals] right away, we just couldn't hold them down. As it turned out the St. Louis Cardinals are truly the world champions."
* Washington said that after closer Neftali Feliz blew the ninth inning of Game 6 that he was in no condition mentally to return to the mound in the 10th when the Cards rallied from a second two-run deficit.
"We'll just say that he was really upset and his state of mind at the time wasn't where we felt like he could go out there and get it done," Washington said. "And the lineup set up perfectly for Darren Oliver and he didn't get it done. So, it wasn't like we didn't get it done because Neftali didn't go back out there. I still feel like that lineup set up perfectly for who we put out there, and the job just didn't get done, and the end result is we just didn't get it done."
* Washington said the club will offer Wilson a "legitimate offer," but said if that's not good enough then he doesn't care where the lefty ends up, even it's with AL West rival Los Angeles Angels.
"He's at the point where he can look around and see what's best for him and I think we want to give him that opportunity, but I also know that he knows how important we think he is to us. But, that decision is up to C.J. Wilson and I do think Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels and me included are going to do the best that we can to see if we can keep C.J. in the fold. But, in the end that decision is really up to C.J."
And if Wilson chooses the Angels?
"If C.J. ends up not being a Texas Ranger -- this is only Ron Washington talking -- I don't personally care where C.J. goes. We will continue to move forward."
* As for Feliz moving into the starting rotation, Washington said that decision will have to wait. He said he wants to make sure "we are protected in that bullpen" and determine if Wilson is in or out before he can make a definitive call on Feliz.
"I think we just have to wait and see how things shake its way out," Washington said.
* Washington is a candidate for the 2011 AL manager of the year award. He said if he wins it will be a nod to the organization and his players.
"That would mean that my players and my coaches and the organization did a heck of a job giving me the players to make that happen. They make that happen for you. As a manager you put them in position that you feel like they can succeed in and I do feel like my players succeeded in many spots that I put them in, and that's what it means to me. I would accept it in those terms right there because my coaches coached and my players played."