Hunter Pence was an All-Star. He is heading toward Comeback Player of the Year. On Friday, when the Rangers made dramatic shifts to the roster aimed at giving more young players time on the field for long-term evaluation, he was also one of the guys who stood to lose the most playing time.
He had reason to want to meet with manager Chris Woodward about the decision.
Instead, he asked to meet with the team.
And this is what he pleaded: That the rest of the team buy in, too.
"He asked that everybody be together," Woodward said Monday. "For everybody to come on board. He was doing it and he was asking everybody else to do the same. I'm very fortunate to have guys like that here. They don't make many people who are willing to look outside themselves and be selfless. It's a hard thing to do."
The message seems to have resonated. Monday's 1-0 win over Cleveland behind a rejuvenated, relaxed, post-trade deadline Mike Minor extended the Rangers' winning streak to five games. Minor went seven shutout innings in his first start since putting the trade deadline -- and the tension around it -- in his rearview mirror. Jose Leclerc closed it out, pitching around a leadoff double in the ninth that may have actually landed in foul territory.
Speaking of Monday's win, Woodward said it was a perfect example of exactly that which Pence had spoken about with the team.
"We've got a we're-doing-this-together kind of attitude," Woodward said. "We have a group that really cares about one another, and we are leaning on one another. If we are going to make a run, we are going to need everybody."
Pence is not the only one with the get-on-board message, which is why Woodward speaks in the plural tense. Pence and Shin-Soo Choo, with nearly 25 years of major league experience between them, understand the situation in which they find themselves.