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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Galloway, Teixeira on the Ranger financial situation 

Galloway today calls out Tom Hicks on the Rangers' finances. And this time, he's got Mark Teixeira echoing some of the same concerns.

Rather than try to summarize, I'm going to quote a significant portion of Galloway's column:

"I would hope," he said Saturday, "this is an organization willing to do whatever it takes to win.

"Be it by trades, in free agency, or in getting our own players signed, we need to step up and go to the next level with all that."

Listen closely, and you can hear an "amen" chorus from Surprise Stadium clubhouse cubicles to the left and right of Teixeira.

Here in Surprise, lined up against the back wall of the Rangers' clubhouse, the locker roll call includes maybe the finest collection of young talent in the majors.

Your faith in baseball can be restored just by listening to and watching this good-attitude group.

But winning is still the bottom line, and don't think it went unnoticed by the young horses when management failed to bring in help when the Rangers were in divisional contention late last season. Or again, when major needs were not properly addressed in the off-season.

Or when the owner flip-flops from one spring to the next, be it the "financial flexibility" sermon of last March, to the "fan support will determine payroll" nonsense of this March.

"What comes first, winning or the fans?" Teixeira said. "To me, that's an easy answer. In our market, the fans have already proved they will come to our beautiful ball park if we put the right product on the field.

"That should not be an issue for us. We aren't Oakland or Minnesota. We are in a top market. If our organization does its part, and we do ours on the field, the fans will support us."


That last part is the key thing. Teixeira is right...this is a big market team. While it shouldn't have payroll up there with the Yankees and Red Sox, it should at least be on the fringes of the top 10, given the stadium revenue and local media deals.

Instead, this is a team with payroll in the bottom third. Just a year after Hicks put $70-80 million as the target payroll range where the Rangers "ought to be", payroll is now at $53 million. Just a year after the ARod deal was trumpeted as giving the team "financial flexibility" to make significant moves going forward, the Ranger payroll in 2005 is less than it was in 2004 -- without ARod.

The organizational lapdogs will no doubt parrot the team's line that the extensions to guys like Drese, Blalock, Young, and Cordero are the result of the new "financial flexibility". That simply isn't true, though...those are smart moves to lock up guys for below-market salaries, moves that the team would be making whether ARod were here or not.

And in the meantime, Hicks is now blaming the fans for payroll being so low, claiming that only if more fans turn out in 2005 will he be able to raise payroll.

Meanwhile, Galloway also touches on the Teixeira situation. Teixeira says, again, that he wants to stay in Texas, that Boras will do what Teixeira wants, and not the other way around. But Galloway also suggests that, given the newfound management financial austerity, Teixeira may be gone after 2006, traded by a team that wants to cash him in before he gets too expensive.

The Alex Rodriguez trade was my lowest moment of a Ranger fan. But I can say emphatically right now, if Mark Teixeira is traded for financial reasons, then the ARod trade will move to #2. I don't care what the return is...dealing a homegrown player like Teixeira, because you are afraid you won't be able to afford to spend the money to keep him after he becomes a free agent, is what the bottom feeders of MLB do. It is a move that the small market teams, the Kansas Citys, the Pittsburghs, the Oaklands do.

It is not something that a big market team like the Rangers, with a rich local media deal and a strong fan base, is supposed to do.

Hopefully, Tom Hicks will sell the team before this becomes an issue.

3 comments
Comments:
I couldn't agree more. The Rangers must keep their young core together and that means Tex. If the fans lose confidence in Hicks intention to field a competitive team, he will see a lot more empty seats.
 
Small market teams would Have to make this trade to survive. Small market teams need a steady stream of cheap prospects to be competitive. Also, Teixeira is implying that if Texas doesn't start spending more, he won't want to stay anyway.
 
I made a decision when "W" owned the team that I would NEVER buy tickets again until the ownership went out and bought pitching. I almost gave in and bought tickets when ARod was brought in, but I came to my senses. It now looks like I might have to rethink my thoughts. I will no longer visit a ranger game until the rangers become the number 3-5 spending team in the league. This being their revenue stream form TV, radio ect. This would then lead me to believe they are interested in putting a winning product on the field instead of owning a profit-taking venture. I want an owner who is happy to own a team because it is an ego boost and they only want championships! Thank you Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. The problem is the Ranger fan. They are like Cubs fans. They are suckers and will come to Ranger games whether they win or lose. If you want a championship here you need to prove to Mr. Hicks that he MUST put a championship product on the field before he gets our money. When he loses money with a cheap team he will change his ways. The choice is yours. Maybe I’ll see you next year at a game.

Scott - scotil@hotmail.com
 
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