Sunday, December 19, 2004

Crasnick article on the Rangers 

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick has a piece entitled "Rangers reinventing themselves".

Crasnick appears to be celebrating the fact that the Rangers won't spend money, and are bringing in "clubhouse chemistry" guys like Sandy Alomar, Jr., rather than guys who can play. John Hart is quoted, claiming that Dallas is L.A. or New York, so the Rangers can't afford big-name free agents. Crasnick talks glowingly about how Showalter has been given the freedom "to bring in his type of player" -- "unassuming, ego-free gamers".

Too bad Showalter's type of player aren't, say, good players. Showalter says himself that the team is going to go after "professional, post-up, show-up-every-day, know-what-you're-getting guys" rather than players with "the kind of sexy resume that a lot of people look for".

And again, this is indicative of Showalter's arrogance...he thinks he's such a genius, he can beat everyone else without actually having that much talent or ability on his team.

I am beginning to believe last season's run is going to end up setting this team back, as it seems to have given Hicks faith in Buck's notion that a cheap team without stars is the way to go, that Buck's gritty gamers who can't really play can somehow prevail over those spoiled superstars with their big numbers.

Nevermind that the guys who carried this team weren't Buck's gritty gamers, but were guys like Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock, Ryan Drese, Francisco Cordero, Mike Young...Buck seems to believe, and Hicks seems to have bought into the notion, that it was the clubhouse chemistry and the intangible contributions of guys like Dellucci and Brian Jordan that made the difference.

I can see why Tom Hicks would want to buy into that notion. After all, it is a hell of a lot cheaper for him to bring in scrubs than guys who can play. He's gotten religion, and seems committed to building a team on the cheap.

But at the end of the day, it is winning teams that are going to bring fans and make money. And Buck's "no-star" philosophy, his notion of throwing a bunch of mediocrities with good attitudes out there, is doomed to failure.

It makes me sad, because we've got some really good, young talent on this team. But Buck's arrogance, his insistence on surrounding himself with "his guys", is going to run this team into the ground, and waste the years when Blalock and Teixeira are under team control and are affordable.

And in the meantime, the Rangers, who should be a "big market" team, are turning themselves into the Pirates.

You think Blalock, Young, Teixiera, Cordero and Drese aren't Buck's type of guys? What team were you watching last summer? And why in the world would the Rangers go after the big hitters with "sexy resumes" as you claim they should? The Rangers scored the 4th most runs in MLB last season, and the players largely responsible for that should only get better. Yeah, it'd be great to have Beltran or Drew in the outfield for the next 5 years, or Delgado at DH (or even Grieve...he crushes the ball in Arlington), but why take away the flexibility we have to pick up a pitcher or two at the deadline or next off-season? Remember, this team wasn't supposed to contend last year, or even this next one. It was a three-year process. Let the men who actually understand baseball make the decisions.

And give it up trying to make Buck look bad. That's just silly. The man won the AL manager of the year award. What have you won?
You missed my point. I wasn't saying that Blalock et al weren't Buck's type of player. I was saying that they weren't the guys Buck brought in -- the guys who were responsible for the team's success last year were, for the most part, guys who were already here when Buck got here.

Yes, the Rangers were 4th in runs scored, but taking into account their home park, their offense was pretty mediocre. Adding a quality bat isn't going to hamper their ability to do something at the deadline or next season.

However, you are right...I've never won a manager of the year award.
I like the team that has been assembled in Arlington. I don't know when I had more fun watching the Rangers play than last year. I don't think I enjoyed the championship years as much!

As far as Showalter, he is a class act. I agree with the TEAM philosophy. I'm not sure why we needed Alomar, but Hidalgo will prove to be the "quality bat" you mentioned the team needed to aquire. Instead of going after the big name aquisition that you feel is necessary, I would rather see Hart spend some dollars to sign Tex to a long term deal.
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