When Ron Washington talks, the Texas Rangers listen.
Washington called a rare team meeting Saturday night after another in a string of shoddy losses, delivering a reminder to play "Ranger baseball."
And according to Sunday's column by Richard Durrett, the Rangers appeared to get back on the right path in Sunday's 7-3 win against the Los Angeles Angels. The best example of that, Durrett says, is the way Elvis Andrus bounced back from a huge mental mistake:
When the shortstop argued with an umpire rather than throw a ball to first to finish a play during Saturday's game, Washington decided a meeting had to happen right away. It was three weeks of rough play that built to that moment, but Andrus' brain cramp signified the team's mental funk.
"It was something teams that aren't doing the right things do," Washington said. "It had to change."
Andrus thought a chopper had hit Erick Aybar on the jersey, which would have been an out. But rather than gloving the ball and throwing to first before arguing, Andrus stopped. The umpire called safe and the Rangers didn't have any chance at an out.
"It was a learning experience," Washington said.
Andrus knew it, too. And he returned Sunday intent on moving on. Andrus was all over the field, making two terrific backhand plays deep in the hole at short and making tough throws to first. He was 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in two runs.
"Sometimes things happen and you don't see it's happening," Andrus said about his focus. "A talk like that early can be great. It woke me up a little bit. I told myself I have to separate my offense and my defense, and really focus better on every pitch and what I'm doing to prepare for every play. It was helpful."
Read the full column here.