Sunday, February 22, 2004

Way to go, Buck, you jackass 

Lest a gritty veteran get the wrong idea, Buck Showalter has now made it clear that the Rangers starting catching job is not up for grabs, that Einar Diaz, and not Gerald Laird, will be the starter.

Let's see...we have a position where the Rangers were so weak coming into last season that John Hart made a disastrous trade, giving up Travis Hafner for the overpriced, mediocre at best Einar Diaz.

Einar Diaz was awful last year, and Gerald Laird had a pretty decent year at AAA behind the plate, and garnered generally positive reviews for his performance in September.

Diaz is making $2.5 million this year, and won't be back after the season; meanwhile, the Rangers need to decide whether Laird is their future.

So what does Buck do? Make it clear to the young player that, no matter how hard he worked this offseason (and by all accounts, Laird worked his tail off to get ready for spring training), and no matter how well Laird performs in the spring, he doesn't have a chance at the job.

How is this in any way productive? How does this help the team? Why would Buck feel the need to come out and make this declaration? Is he afraid Einar Diaz, who has no future with this club, might get his feelings bruised otherwise?

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