The Texas Rangers will open up interleague play tonight against the Astros in Houston, and Ron Washington is happy to be there. This is because since the game will be played in a National League park, it will be played by National League rules--and Wash considers himself “a National Leaguer at heart.”
Although he has never coached in the NL (he spent 11 seasons as a coach with the A’s before being named manager in Texas in 2007), Washington began his career in the NL with the Dodgers in 1977 and spent his final season with Houston in 1988.
So why does Wash prefer the NL game?
"For the main reason that it keeps everybody engaged," Washington said, per the Dallas Morning News. "You never know when your opportunity is going to come. Everybody has to pay attention."
Wash might also like interleague play because his best hitter, Josh Hamilton, has raked against NL pitching since joining Texas, hitting .392 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs in 51 games.
"The numbers would say I like [interleague play] a lot," Hamilton said. "It's nothing different. It's not like I'm saying 'Here we go.' Just go play."