Ron Washington has "no issue" with Josh Hamilton after dugout discussion.
By KEITH WHITMIREFS Southwest
ARLINGTON, Texas – Rangers manager Ron Washington said there’s “no issue” between himself and center fielder Josh Hamilton a day after television cameras caught an animated exchange between the two.
Washington approached Hamilton in the dugout after Hamilton dropped a pop-up that allowed Oakland to score the go-ahead runs Wednesday. The 12-5 loss cost the Rangers the AL West title.
Hamilton appeared irritated at being asked by Washington about the drop, but later took full blame for the error when speaking to reporters.
“There was no issue with Josh and I, I don’t care what you’ve seen on the camera,” Washington said. “I’m the manager, I’m allowed to ask questions. It’s just that y’all get more views about things right now. I have no issue with Hamilton, and that’s the end of that.
The Rangers’ issue with Hamilton is that he has just one homer, five RBIs and 18 strikeouts in 10 games since being diagnosed with an eye condition caused by caffeinated drinks. He missed five games because of the condition before returning to the lineup Sept. 24.
“Has Josh played his best? No,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “Josh struggling is not why we’ve slumped the last two weeks, but it’s certainly contributed. The reality is there’s no one reason why we’ve had a rough two weeks.”
Roster could have an altered look Friday
The Rangers’ roster for the American League Wild Card Game will likely be different from how it appeared in the regular season because of the one-game format.
“It’s basically just like an additional round of the playoffs, from a rules standpoint,” Daniels said. “The fact that it’s a one-game maximum round gives you some flexibility, as far as you may not need all your starters and things of that nature.”
The Rangers have had discussions about the Wild Card roster but won’t need to make a final decision until the 10 a.m. Friday deadline.
“The likelihood of using 25 guys in the game is probably not real high anyway,” Daniels said. “But you want to be prepared, and anybody that can help you win a game in any sort of specialists’ role you want to make sure is available for Wash to use.”
Washington had to wait until 3:15 p.m. Thursday for Baltimore manager Buck Showalter to disclose his starting pitcher, Joe Saunders. Understandably, Washington wasn’t eager to disclose any roster decisions.
“We’ve certainly addressed some things in that area,” Washington said. “But I certainly don’t want to talk about that right now.”
Beltre could be back at third for Wild Card Game
Adrian Beltre hasn’t played third base since straining his left shoulder on Sunday, but he could be back at the bag for the Wild Card Game. Beltre was the designated hitter for the final three regular season games in Oakland.
“He came out of yesterday’s game fine,” Washington said. “I haven’t made that decision yet. I’ll wait until tomorrow when Adrian gets here and we’ll sit down and see how he feels, and then I’ll make that decision.”
Rangers players were given Thursday off and were not available to the media.