Rangers discipline employee for leaked speech

Rangers discipline employee for leaked speech

Rangers discipline employee for leaked speech
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers confirmed they have taken disciplinary action against a club employee who taped manager Ron Washington's pregame speech before Game 7 of the World Series.

The audio tape subsequently was leaked and posted on a St. Louis-based blog. The Rangers did not reveal the nature of the disciplinary action against the unidentified employee, who was a member of their traveling party.

"It's unacceptable," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "It was a private meeting for the team and privilege to be a part of the clubhouse and be in the clubhouse and have access to. Somebody used very poor judgment to tape it. That's not what the meeting was for."

The meeting lasted about six minutes. Washington spoke to his players one day after the Rangers lost to the Cardinals, 10-9, in 11 innings in Game 6. The Rangers were getting ready to play the Cardinals in Game 7. Washington is heard speaking as well as Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and others.

The speech is laced with the usual colorful language found in a Major League clubhouse. Washington basically exhorted his team to forget about Game 6 and play the way it normally plays the game. There were also some pointed remarks about how to approach Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter. There was almost nothing in the way of disparaging remarks about the Cardinals as a team and there was a lot of laughing and joking among the players at the end of the meeting.

The actual content of the speech -- all baseball-related despite the vulgarity -- was not as disconcerting as the violation of the sanctity of the clubhouse and a private meeting between the manager and the players.

"This was a case of a person using poor judgment," Daniels said. "We haven't had any issues before this."

Daniels said the Rangers employee did not intend for the speech to be posted on the Internet but apparently shared it with the wrong person.

"Unfortunately it doesn't take much for something to go from Point A to Point B," Daniels said.

Washington was unavailable to comment. He is in New Orleans where his mother passed away on Friday. Services for Fannie Washington, 90, have been scheduled for 10 a.m. CT Friday at the Marine and Mount Moriah Ministries Church in New Orleans.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.