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Wash: Tanking Won’t Be Factor In Wild Card Race

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Minnesota has lost (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Minnesota has lost 13 of 16 and are facing the Indians in the season’s final 3 games. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – If the Rangers are to advance to the postseason, it won’t be all their doing. They need help – help which can come from only two teams.

While Texas is chasing Tampa Bay and Cleveland in the Wild Card standings, it’s Toronto and Minnesota that can drastically affect the final standings.

The Blue Jays (72-87) — who many picked to win the AL East after bringing in R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, and others this offseason — are in the division basement, a full 24 games back of Boston. Toronto hosts Tampa Bay for the final three games of the season starting Friday, with essentially nothing but pride to play for.

The Indians took the series opener and resume a four-game series on the road against the Twins (66-93) – a team who has struggled mightily in 2013 and is reeling down the stretch.

If Texas wins out, the team could secure a spot in a Wild Card play-in game with a single win by Minnesota or two Toronto wins. If both teams are swept, the Rangers will miss the postseason for the first time since 2009.

So is manager Ron Washington worried that the Indians and Rays might not receive maximum effort from their opponents?

“I can tell you this. With Ron Gardenhire being the manager of the Minnesota Twins – that answers that question,” said Washington on Friday. “And with John Gibbons being the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays – that answers that question. Two pros. They’re not just going to throw gloves out there.”

Toronto has lost 11 of 16 games; Minnesota has lost 13 of 16.

But Washington doesn’t believe either team will tank – or at least, he doesn’t expect them to.

“That’s just professionalism; that’s pride,” said Washington. “I don’t think you can describe it as anything else. No matter when you play, you want to win. No matter where you are, you want to win.”

And if you’re the Rangers, you better hope that one of these teams does.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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