ARLINGTON -- Mitch Moreland was given Monday off by Rangers manager Ron Washington in an effort to coax him out of his current slump."He's just pressing," Washington said. "Mitch is a grinder. The tougher things get, the tougher he grinds, and he just has to learn that sometimes less is best. Every now and then I have to let him step back and clear his head. He takes not getting something done hard. Nothing wrong with that." Moreland is 0-for-14 in his last four games, and 5-for-38 over his last 11.
Napoli returns to Rangers after rehab stint
ARLINGTON -- Mike Napoli returned to the Rangers on Monday from a rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Round Rock. Taylor Teagarden was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Napoli on the roster.Napoli was scorching in his rehab stint, hitting three-run home runs in the ninth inning on Saturday and Sunday. The home run on Saturday tied the game and the one on Sunday won it. He hit three home runs in his last 10 plate appearances. "I had some good at-bats down there," Napoli said. "Hopefully I can carry it over to here." Napoli went on the 15-day disabled list on June 12 with a strained left oblique. He said he felt good after Saturday, but Rangers manager Ron Washington wanted to give him an extra day of rehab in Round Rock. "It will be nice to have his presence and his bat," Washington said. "Nap's a gamer. It's nice to put another one in the lineup."
Washington still not happy about ejection
ARLINGTON -- One day after first-base umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Rangers manager Ron Washington and first-base coach Gary Pettis from Sunday's game, Washington was still steaming."[Hernandez] told me that my job is to get [Pettis] off the field," Washington said. "You don't tell me what my job is. You can't talk to Angel. Angel's the smartest umpire in baseball." On Sunday, Washington said in the postgame that Hernandez is "just bad." While he said on Monday that he expects to be fined for those comments, he is not repentant about making them. "Oh, I'm going to get fined," Washington said. "I mean, I'm going to get fined for what I told Angel. I don't know, they might add to it because of what I said about Angel, but hey, the truth is the truth." Washington reiterated that he did not leave the dugout expecting to get ejected, but in the course of events, he was "picked on" by Hernandez, and his response led to his ejection. "I didn't see anything. I was just letting Gary have his say," Washington said. "Then [Hernandez] picked on me, and I lost it. That was the end of it. You don't tell me what to do. You can suggest something, but you don't tell me what to do." With both Pettis and Washington ejected, bench coach Jackie Moore became the acting manager. Washington said that on such a hot night, some umpires wear ice packs that need to be replaced, which prevented him from hiding just out of sight of the field. "When I'm able to stay down there, I do," Washington said. "But I couldn't stay last night with those umpires coming back and forth with their ice packs. I'm already in trouble. "Not necessarily in the equipment area, but I'm down there. Might be in the tunnel area, might be in the walkway, might be in the video room. I just couldn't take a chance with those guys doing that of getting caught." Washington stuck by Moore's decision of taking out starter C.J. Wilson, and good-naturedly poked fun at all his experience. "You got Jackie with 150 years, and [pitching coach] Mike [Maddux] with 130 years," Washington joked. "Together, they've got 280 years."
Washington unhappy with Rangers' defense
ARLINGTON -- On the heels of a three-error game that featured three unearned runs in a loss to the Marlins on Sunday, Rangers manager Ron Washington seemed frustrated by his team's lack of execution on defense."I wish I could take my 57-year-old [rear] out there and play," Washington said. "I'd catch them. But I can't." The Rangers lead the league in both errors and unearned runs entering Monday's game. The 48 unearned runs are in stark contrast to the 51 the team allowed in the entire 2010 season. The team trots out the same defensive lineup as last year, for the most part, except the Rangers replaced Michael Young at third base with two-time Gold Glove winner Adrian Beltre. Washington takes pride in the way his team fields, and has been disappointed with it so far. "My pride hasn't changed," Washington said. "It does concern me, and I know it concerns them also, but I'm not between the lines. They are between the lines, and we know they have the ability to do it. They've just got to get it done."
Rangers take to air to celebrate Fourth
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' Fourth of July celebration took on an airborne theme.In the pregame, nearly 200 people took the oath of enlistment in the United States Air Force. The Air Force also presented the colors, and 175 more people were sworn into the Delayed Entry Program. A flyover of F-16's from the 457th Fighter Squadron completed the pregame festivities. During the game, prerecorded messages from local airmen stationed in Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan were played on the scoreboards, most of which said hello to their families and wished the Rangers well. The postgame also started with another F-16 flyover. The night concluded with fireworks.
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.