Last Call from the Desert….Ron Washington, Prince Fielder

The Rangers have played 15 games in the Cactus League. They have as many ties as they do wins.

— Manager Ron Washington was asked before Thursday’s game what would happen if Prince Fielder demanded to play 162 games this season

If Prince wants to go play 162 and he’s kicking (butt), he can play 162. But if I decide he needs a break, then I’m going to give him a break. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. It’s not a bridge I want to try to build. Playing in that heat in Texas, we’ll see. He may play 162, he might play 160. To me, I don’t see a difference in playing 162 and 159.

What we try to do is to try to see what we can do to get them fresh going down the stretch. If that means talking him into taking a day and getting a butt-whuppin behind it, I’ll survive, I’ll get up. I’ve been getting up all my life so if he knocks me on my butt, I’ll get up. If that means I can get a lot out of him down the stretch getting him two days off in a 162-game schedule.”

Some players are able to fight their way into the lineup even though Washington wants to give them a day off.
“The guys that usually won are the ones that drive the bus. You have guys that sit on the bus and read magazines and books and stuff like that and you have guys behind the driver’s seat. Usually the guys that get behind the driver’s seat are the guys than can convince me that they need to play.

“Beltre is a bus driver. Berkman was a bus driver until he got hurt. Before he got hurt he was huge on our team. In April he was huge. Once he got hurt he couldn’t do it. I wish he would have stayed healthy because he would have made a difference. That first month he was a son of a gun. Not only with his production, but the way he handled the bench, the way guys gravitated towards him, the way he was talking baseball with them. Once he couldn’t play anymore, he felt like an outsider.”

— Washington on the Rangers bad start in Cactus League play: “I’ve been relaxed since the day I arrived here. My attitude and my approach hasn’t changed. Hasn’t changed one bit. Dallas Green told me a long time ago if you get frustrated in Spring Training it’s going to be a long year.

“That’s right, the year hasn’t started yet. So I’m not going to start getting like that spring training. You’ll see what happens. I’ve got a long year coming. We’ll just continue to do our work and hope we can get these guys well and when we get the 25 on the roster, we’ll go to war with them.”

He said it

“It takes away from the emotion of the game. The umpire calls are what they are. I’m not a big fan of it.”

Alex Rios on instant replay

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