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"This is what we play for all f——-' year," Washington began.
The speech is a corrective to any notion that the Rangers' 11-inning loss to the Cardinals the night before left them numb, disbelieving, and demoralized. Listen to the laughter as Washington proceeds. The Rangers left the clubhouse, took the field, and immediately scored two runs off Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter and should have scored more. Of course the Cardinals tied the score in the bottom of the first, and that turned out to be that for the Rangers, but as Washington allowed in his pep talk, the Cardinals were a pretty good team too.
"Enjoy yourself, have fun, and do what you gotta do," said Washington, lapsing briefly into quotable English. "We can play this m——-f——-' game, no doubt about it. We can beat those m——-f——-s over there, no doubt about it."
Washington's remarks won't be confused with Henry V's speech to his troops on the Eve of Saint Crispin's—at least not as Shakespeare imagined it. Possibly Washington came closer to the flavor of the actual occasion.
*John R. Tunis (1889-1975) was the author of the best juvenile sports novels ever written. Any kid struggling with the racial perplexities of midcentury America who didn't get to read Tunis's All-American can claim a deprived youth.