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09/27/08 9:55 PM ET
Washington offers insight into self
Skipper feels communication skills are excellent, wins will come
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Saturday that his coaching strength comes in the form of his communication skills. He also said he got better this season handling a pitching staff, and he would like to work on his preparation. Washington is unfazed by two losing seasons in two years as a Major League manager. He believes that is about to change. "I think the first thing I said when I became manager is I'm only as good as my players perform," said Washington, who was prodded by the media to do a little self-appraisal of himself before Saturday's game. "Obviously, we've got some deficiencies to correct," Washington said. "I believe we can correct them, and the wins will take care of itself. I know a manager is judged by that. But the people who are judging me aren't down here in the trenches with me. But I do believe that losing record will change. I'll get on the winning side of that. "The team is better this year. We just have to move forward. But we can come back next year and win 92 games, and those guys over there [the Angels] win 96 or 97, then we still haven't won anything. That's still the team we have to overtake. That's what you've got to do." Washington said he feels prepared going into a game, and he is comfortable running a game once it begins. The skipper said he would just like to be more prepared with his pitching coach and bullpen coach about which pitchers they have ready and how long each can go on a given night. "I think I got better handling the pitching staff," Washington said. "The first year, I thought that was one of my weaknesses. I thought I was prepared every day, but I always believe your preparation can be better. The one thing I want to figure out is how to be better prepared with my coaching staff so that when situations do come up, we're all on the same page. "It has to do with sitting down with the pitching coach and the bullpen coach before the game, going over the availability of our pitchers every single day. I do that now, but I don't do it pregame. It would be easier if we all knew what we had before warming up the pitcher." Washington said he thought he did a better job of communicating with his players this season. "I think I communicated better the second time around because they learned to know what I expected from them," Washington said. But when it comes to communication, Washington is blunt. "I think I'm a good communicator," Washington said. "I think I bring attitude, and I think I show passion that rubs off. All that comes into play when you're competing. The game stuff is easy. Once I get on the field, it's natural stuff."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.