I have not been posting because I have not had much good to
say about the Rangers. After a month of
silence, I have to post something. Here
are some things to keep in mind for 2008:
1) 1) When
evaluating any Ranger personnel move, you have to ask the following question:
“Will this make the Rangers better in 2010?”
We all know that the Rangers have no shot this year or next, despite
some of you who were drinking the pre-season Kool-Aid and wondering if the Rangers
could be this year’s Colorado Rockies.
(Don’t deny it. We know who you
2) 2) Players
who won’t be around for 2010 are merely fodder to obtain additional
prospects. If we can keep Milton Bradley
healthy and muzzled, maybe we can get some prospects for him later this summer.
is the Ranger catcher of the future. The
only question is: Do you want him to learn at the major league level or in the
minors. I vote majors. Which means Gerald Laird may be able to get
us some prospects.
4) 4) If
the Rangers plan was to trade Tex, could they at least have a viable
alternative at first base? How soon will
our minor league first sackers be ready?
If you answered 2010, there’s no need to bring in someone else between
now and then. I would have given Botts a
longer tryout, but Broussard’s days are probably numbered and it is approaching
zero. Chris Shelton was never the answer
except for trivia about fast starts in 2006.
5) 5) What can be done to
improve the team’s middle defense?
Michael Young still doesn’t cover much ground at short and Kinsler makes
Soriano’s defense look passable. I
thought both of these guys were in the Rangers long term plans, but can they
afford to have them butchering up the defense?
6) I have no confidence that the Rangers
pitching coaches at the minor or major league level can develop young
pitching. The early season success of
Edinson Volquez with the Reds underscores my concern. Here was a guy with electric stuff, who
struggled in the Rangers system because of wildness. The Reds have him for spring training and he
looks like the second coming. Rangers’
heads should roll over this. If the
Rangers can’t develop young pitching, they might as well give up right
now. People can have all the talent in
the world when drafted or acquired, but if don’t get much better they will be
cannon fodder in the big leagues. Josh
Hamilton is trying to let us forget about Volquez, but good young pitchers the
scarcest commodity in baseball. The
Ballpark can make a good hitter from a lot of spare players.
7) How long will Nolan Ryan be given a free
pass by his buddies in the media? When
he was hired, I thought it was a smart think for Hicks, JD & Company. Management can get bashed all day, but people
will think twice before taking on the Express mano-a-mano. He also will help sell tickets from a
defense, starting pitching, and bullpen – Which has been the most reliable part
of the Rangers game thus far? I would
vote starting pitchers. Millwood and
Padilla have been inconsistent, but more good than bad. The worst part of the game – defense
unquestionably. While watching the
rangers in the field, I am reminded of the Keystone Cops. For those of you too young to remember them,
9) 9) General
admission home games? When the Rangers
are playing non-contending teams, crowds are going to be very sparse all
year. Look for increasingly aggressive
promotions to get fans to the ballpark.
It still irks me that parking is so high ($12???) considering it’s for a
surface lot with no shade a mile away from the ballpark. The price of beer also encourages me to stay
home where the beer is colder and 1/6th the cost. Dollar hot dog nights won’t cut it. Maybe free parking night would entice
me. Given Cleveland’s ill fated nickel
beer night, that won’t be happening anytime soon.
) 10) Should he stay or
should he go? Wash is obviously not in
the plans for 2010 because his handling of the current Ranger debacle has been
no less than a disaster of Hindenburg proportions. The question is when to give him the ax? What message would that send to a new
skipper? Is the guy you really want
available? Who would want to take the
helm of this sinking ship right now? My
advice is to stay the course through the bulk of this year, maybe even through
next year. Pull the trigger late in the
year so the new manager will have a month or two to get to know the players
before the off season hits. By August 1
have a plan of who the next Ranger manager will be and what sort of team this
will be in 2010. We have come full circle.
Decide what the team can look like in 2010 before making any current