Too many times in 2013, it seemed the Texas Rangers were going one step forward and two steps back on the base paths, often killing rallies before they really got started by being picked off, or just from being too aggressive on taking first to third. You name the situation, and the Rangers found a way to make an out in it on the bases last season.
Rangers manager Ron Washington has always preached an aggressive brand of baseball, and when things are going well in that style of play, it's awesome. But when things go poorly, it can sour fans' feelings toward the aggressive brand of baseball in a hurry. That was the case in 2013, when the Rangers had well over 100 outs on the base paths — a pretty unfathomable number.
But while speaking to Norm Hitzges on Wednesday on KTCK The Ticket, Washington said he's not going to rein in his players' aggressive brand of running, and he shouldn't.
The Rangers have several guys very capable of stealing bases and being good baserunners as Elvis Andrus, Alex Rios and Leonys Martin all finished in the top 10 in the American League in stolen bases and Ian Kinsler has historically been a guy that can steal 30 bases before taking a huge step back in 2013 being caught almost as often as he was successful.
“You either tell them to be tentative, and they don’t try anything, or you let the talent you have play," Washington told Hitzges. "Yes, we did make some decisions that we wish we could have taken back off the base paths that would have given us more opportunities in some situations, but when we make those decisions, and those decisions work, I think the game itself is enjoyable, and that’s just the way we play, and what we have to do, and we started it this winter, is try to make certain that we make better decisions. That’s all.
"The last thing I need is my players out there wondering if they’re making mistakes, and then all of a sudden not taking advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself. We just have to do a better job of decision making."
The Rangers have been successful with the same brand of baseball before. Back in 2010, when they broke through and went to their first World Series, they were runnin' fools and they did a damn good job of it. Fans loved it and the team was successful. It'd be foolish to abandon that style of play in 2014, they just need to be a little better about limiting their mistakes in judgment.
“Of course there’s times when even as the manager, I say ‘Geez, I wish you’d made a better decision than that,' but the thing is, the guys were trying," Washington said. "There’s one thing that no one that’s seen the Texas Rangers play can say that we didn’t try to give everything we had out there, and in that process, sometimes we make bad decisions, and even the good teams make bad decisions. As I said, we have to be smarter, but I will not hold them back. That’s the way we play. That’s the way we will continue to play, and it can be a successful situation. You just have to make better decisions.”