Washington reflects on Rangers’ collpase

ARLINGTON, Texas – There’s plenty of blame to go around for the 2012 collapse of the Texas Rangers.

Manager Ron Washington shouldered some of that himself Tuesday.

Washington thinks that if he rested his regulars more in the middle of the season, they would have been fresher for the stretch run.

“The way we went down the stretch, if it was something I could have done differently, I would have looked at not having all my regulars play as many games as they played,” he said. “I think I could have changed that and got them some more opportunities to get rest, then be much fresher as we went down the stretch, it could have been a difference. I question myself for that.”

Five Rangers – Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz – played in at least 156 games this season. Last year only two players (Young, Kinsler) played in more than 150 games and only Young and Vladimir Guerrero played in more than 150 in 2010.

Washington, who will return home to New Orleans on Wednesday, has used the unexpected off time to watch the playoffs on television. It’s the first time he has had an opportunity to realize just how well Oakland and Baltimore, the two teams responsible for the Rangers’ demise this year, played down the stretch.

“The one thing I’m noticing is how hot Baltimore was and Oakland was down the stretch,” Washington said. “When I was in it, I knew they were playing well but I never thought they could take us out. Then when you sit back and start to see what individuals did on that team down the stretch, we had no individuals to match that. If we had any of our individuals that would have done that down the stretch, you wouldn’t hear of Baltimore or Oakland.”