ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rangers went into Tuesday's game still holding on to one of the two Wild Card playoff spots in the American League. But their seven-game losing streak, as well as losing 13 of 16, has prompted people to ask questions about manager Ron Washington's job security.
General manager Jon Daniels addressed that Tuesday by saying he fully expects Washington to be back in 2014.
"My full expectation is he'll be back," Daniels said. "My full expectation is I'll be back. Beyond that we'll address everything in the offseason. I view Wash as a partner, and I fully expect the partnership to continue.
"It's a distraction. There is no substance to it. It's not something remotely being discussed. The bottom line is we need to go out and have a good at-bat, a good inning and a good game and get this turned around. Everything else is a distraction."
Washington scoffed at the suggestion that he was concerned about or in fear of losing his job.
"I'm not going to give that any legs," Washington said. "Let the people who put that out there answer it. I never said one thing about fearing for my job. I'm steadfast in what my job is on this ballclub, and that's to be the best manager for this organization and back my players, back my coaches and back the organization. I want to be the best manager possible, and that hasn't changed."
Washington is finishing his seventh season as Rangers manager and is signed through 2014. He called this season perhaps his most challenging on the job.
"It has been the most challenging year because of all the adversity, losing one-fourth of my pitching staff, losing some of my best players to the disabled list and losing a big part of the power out of our lineup," Washington said. "But we're still in position to get this done, and I feel confident we can. The game is not constructed so everything is hunky-dory. That's the beauty of the game."
Washington said the Rangers just need to win a game.
"One win would change it," Washington said. "One win would get things in motion. We need one win to get it right. I'll take two, then three, four, five and keep going. But we have to get one."
Daniels said the Rangers' focus should be on finishing strong and earning one of the two Wild Card playoff spots.
"The reality is we have a playoff spot as we sit here today," Daniels said. "We haven't played that way, but there's not much more I can do and not much Ron can do. It's about the guys between the lines. Hopefully they are focused and get it done.
"Last year, we had the division and we lost it. Nothing against the Athletics, but that's what happened. This year, they beat us. It's not over, but they have a sizable advantage. But right now, we're in a position to make the playoffs. It's our job to hold on to it, and I expect us to do it."
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.