How do you rate Ron Washington's performance as a manager?
It took him awhile to get used to managing our team, and it took our players awhile to get used to him. But once that happened, I think his style of managing has appealed to the players. I think he has has a good, solid group of young players who have played very hard for him. I think when you look at the performance of the team, you probably see a team that is pretty much playing to its potential right now.
Will new Rangers president Nolan Ryan have an impact on the team's pitching, its biggest weakness?
I look for Nolan's style to rub off. He's not satisified with a pitcher saying, "I'm giving you my five or six good innings, now go to the bullpen.” He's adopted a philosophy with the team when you get to that point, give me one more inning. Instead of six, give me seven innings. Instead of seven, give me eight. That philosophy is something Nolan and the organization will push throughout the system. Over time, that will pay dividends and you'll see benefits of a strong minor league system. The only system is to draft pitchers and develop them and not depend on free agency. It's too expensive. It's too much of a crap shoot.
What are your impressions of outfielder Josh Hamilton's hot start?
He's a very talented kid. Physically, there's no limitation on what he is able to accomplish. I think you're just seeing that right now. He's having a little slower month of June, but to have any guy, whether it's Juan Gonzalez or Alex Rodriguez or any superstar, be the player of the month in the American League the first two months of the season is pretty remarkable.