If you read only one musing on the disappointing end of the Rangers season, you could do a lot worse than reading the latest from Mike Hindman of Baseball Time in Arlington.
In the piece, Hindman draws a bright line between this season and the 2010 and 2011 seasons. The word written in neon letters on that bright line is accountability, something that Hindman argues went out the window for the Rangers this season.
"With the 2012 Rangers, a player could quit on plays, take himself out of the lineup in the middle of a game, take a week off in the middle of a pennant race, come back and show absolutely zero passion or interest and continue to have his way," Hindman writes in a scathing indictment of the way Ron Washington ran his clubhouse.
It moves on to cover Washington's refusal to bench Michael Young, his refusal to play Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar and his refusal to do what Joe Girardi did with the Yankees in the playoffs to get underperforming players out of the lineup. Young gets tarred a bit as well because he's the de facto team leader, but even that gets pushed back on Washington because it is all the more reason to take him out of the lineup.
Again, it's compelling and thoughtful stuff about the mental state of the Rangers. It's also the kind of stuff that you wouldn't be reading if the Rangers had won just one more game over the course of the regular season.
Had the Rangers won and advanced past the Wild Card game, there's a pretty good chance that they'd still be playing today and/or heading to the World Series. If that happened, all of these alleged clubhouse issues would be either ignored or swept under the rug because that's what winning teams do with problems that don't stop them from winning.
So if you think that there needs to be a shift in attitudes around the team, you have to also think that it is a good thing that they lost to the Orioles and failed to hold off the A's. The best way to implement serious change is to face a serious crisis, which is where the Rangers increasingly seem to be finding themselves this October.