The Rangers held their end-of-season debriefing on Tuesday and Ron Washington used it as an opportunity to show why people like him so much.
Washington tried to step up and take full blame for the disappointing end to the year against the Orioles. He blamed himself for playing his regulars too often during the regular season with the implication that they were too tired come the end of the season
"My regulars were healthy and they were able to go out there, but if I can look back now, maybe I could have done something in the middle of the season where I could have given them some time down," Washington said. "My everyday guys, I rode them, man."
Noble stuff, although it has little grounding in reality. If he rested Ian Kinsler or Nelson Cruz or Adrian Beltre at some point in July, maybe the Rangers lose a game that they actually won and the whole thing winds up being equal in the final reckoning. You play your best players, that's the way baseball go in Washingtonese, and you let the chips fall where they may.
If any one thing really wound up costing the Rangers this season, it was injuries. Losing Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz for the season led to a lot of starts for Scott Feldman, Martin Perez and Roy Oswalt. The replacements couldn't match the performance of Lewis, in particular, and the lack of a rotation stalwart was felt throughout the year as the team looked for consistency on the mound to help them overcome the occasional offensive brownout.
You could throw Derek Holland's failure to improve on his work from 2011 into that mix as well. The team assumed that Holland would at least match that performance, but he fell short of it in a year when the Rangers really needed a little bit more from everyone in their rotation who wasn't named Yu Darvish or Matt Harrison.
It seems like a flimsy excuse to blame injuries, something every team has to deal with, but that doesn't make it any less fitting in a season that saw the Rangers fall one regular season win short of being active at this moment.
But if Washington wants to blame himself, he's welcome to do so. He should just offer a mea culpa for letting Michael Young come to the plate 651 times instead of asking his players to do their job, though.