Beltre leads club through a trying season
CHICAGO -- Many of the Rangers on the active roster have something to play for in the final two months of the season. They are fighting for jobs at the Major League level, both for now and the future.
Not Adrian Beltre. The Rangers' All-Star third baseman is signed through at least next season and there is no doubt where he stands. He just needs to get through a trying season.
"I'm doing OK," Beltre said. "I'm doing the best I can. Obviously the situation is not comfortable for anybody, especially knowing in Spring Training we didn't imagine we would be in this situation with all this losing.
"You just have to stay positive and believe something good will come of it and we'll start playing better. Play the next 50 games on a positive note and finish the season strong."
Beltre is the clear leader in the Rangers' clubhouse. Manager Ron Washington said Beltre is fulfilling that role as expected.
"I don't think Beltre ever quit at anything," Washington said. "You hope you are able to lead when things aren't going in the right direction. You have to lead no matter what. When you go through rough times, that's when you really have to lead. Beltre is a leader."
Beltre still has a chance for at least one significant personal accomplishment. He went into Tuesday's game hitting .323, which was fourth best in the American League. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve led with a .339 average, so a batting title is still in play for Beltre.
But winning matters the most and that has been the tough part to deal with for Beltre.
"I'm trying to find a way to maintain any way I can," Beltre said. "I have a job to do every day and I have to find a way to stay positive and keep the young kids positive. These young kids are learning and there are so many things you don't want to fall into. You don't want to get used to losing. We are trying to find any way we can to finish on a strong note.
"We have a lot of young guys in their first time in the Majors and I know they look up to me so I have to stay positive … Let them know that even though we haven't played well the last seven weeks, we can still play better and finish on a high note."