SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers went through their first full-squad workout on Saturday afternoon. Texas started the day with a team meeting and manager Ron Washington giving his usual "Welcome to Spring Training" address to his players.
Washington kept it short.
"It was just about us being together, caring for each other, playing for one another and staying healthy," Washington said. "I'm the leader; they draw off my energy and how I go about my business. I set the example. I'm always comfortable in front of my team."
A few of the coaches spoke, but none of the players. Usually Washington goes around the room and asks any players if they have anything to say. Instead, Washington looked at about 9-10 veteran players and asked them if "they believe." He received a unanimous response in the affirmative.
Nelson Cruz was one of the players who Washington asked. Cruz did not address his teammates during the meeting about his off-field issues concerning allegations he was a customer of a Miami-area wellness clinic that reportedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs. The matter is under investigation by Major League Baseball.
"It was a little different meeting than in past years," pitcher Matt Harrison said. "The biggest thing is believing in what we are doing and taking care of the little things. If we do that, the big things will take care of themselves."
As far as what happened last year when the Rangers blew the American League West title in the final week and lost in the Wild Card game, Washington said, "We didn't finish the way we wanted to and we didn't meet expectations. But the thing about baseball is it's the start of a new year and everybody has a chance. We certainly have a chance."