Elvis Andrus was healthy yesterday. But not in the lineup.
Nope, these aren’t Ron Washington’s Rangers anymore.
Washington was a players’ manager. As much as he went with his gut instincts for decisions, even more so he stuck with “his” guys. That’s the reason players – especially veterans – were so loyal and loving to their manager.
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I heard from some folks in the organization that there was a little friction developing between Washington and general manager Jon Daniels over the last half of the season. With the season dissolved due to injuries, the GM wanted to see young players get at-bats and innings while the manager saw to it that he played his veterans out of respect and out of a desire to win every game possible no matter the circumstances.
With Washington’s abrupt, mysterious resignation, so too will go the reliance upon veterans. In other words, Andrus got the day off from interim manager Tim Bogar.
“If Elvis is honest, he will tell you this wasn’t his best year,” Bogar told reporters in the clubhouse last Sunday. “It’s frustrating for him, and it’s frustrating for all of us with everything that we’ve gone through. I think getting this year past us and getting the focus back on where we can go as a team is going to help him, too.”
So while career minor leaguer Guilder Rodriguez got his first major-league start and Luis Sardinas played shorstop, Andrus was left to contemplate his sour season.
Because of injuries and departures, suddenly Andrus is a leader. It’s not going well.
The Rangers are on pace to lose 100 games. The manager resigned. And Andrus has been underwhelming, with all of his offensive numbers drastically down and the trademark, highlight-film defensive plays all too sparse.
Andrus signed an eight-year, $120 million contract last year. He’s not going anywhere. No matter the manager next season, Andrus will be a leader and a foundation player.
Like everything else about the organization. He’s just got to be better.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.