Jon Daniels, please stop reading my blog. I’m one of those people you don’t like, one of the naysayers about the team. Every time I say something, you do the opposite, just to spite me. That’s not the way to run a team (if it is, then let me just say that you, Ron Washington, Mark Connor should all have lifetime contracts, and Tom Hicks should never sell the team). Honestly, I was mad when I heard today that you’d picked up Ron Washington’s option for 2009, just a couple of days after I said how bad he has been as a manager. And watching your performance on tv during the game tonight, I felt like you were talking directly about me all the time, about how you were showing all those people who’d been saying bad things about the team. Guess what? We’re not all going to be lovey-dovey about the Rangers all the time, especially when they’re playing badly. You’re the GM, you’ll be here what, another two or three years maybe? Assuming Hicks has more patience with you than he has had with anyone else, that is. We’re in it for the long haul, as the saying goes, we love the uniform, not the people inside. We’ll be Rangers fans in twenty years, thirty years, forty if we’re lucky, and maybe by then we’ll have won a World Series. By that time you’ll have been long forgotten, just another name in the history books. Yes, you have a chance to do good things now, but for sure if you only listen to the yes-men and ignore what everyone else is saying, you’ll be in exactly the same trap as every GM before you (with the exception of Doug Melvin, who did a good job before Hicks came along). If you try and dismiss us out of hand like you did tonight, then the day you’re packing your bags you’ll be hearing our told you so’s loud and clear.
You said yourself in your quotes today that Ron Washington “is a teacher at heart”, and that’s something I totally agree with. I’m not sure I made this point clear a couple of days ago, but I think he is a great coach. He got all those fielders in Oakland believing in him, after all. We’ll just ignore the fact that the Rangers don’t even seem to understand the fundamentals of baseball this year, won’t we? But it is clear to me, if not to yourself, that while Washington is a good coach he is a terrible manager, he has no idea of the tactics that even old-time managers use (heck, Earl Weaver knew to play for three-run homers, why couldn’t Wash play under him instead of some of the people he did?). As I said the other day, he runs the team like he played, he has ignored all the lessons of the last twenty or so years. I mean, bunting in the first inning? A bunt is a one-run strategy, and if you think you’ll get a run in the first and make it hold up, well, I’ve got a bunch of Rangers pitchers to sell you. The suggestion that the Rangers have been playing well the last couple of months is crazy, yes, they have a decent record (the quote was 38-30 since mid-June) but it’s mostly been smoke and mirrors, basically a lot of luck swinging back after disappearing early in the season, pitching that has far outperformed the true value (even tonight you all were saying that Kam Loe is back to being on the edge, whereas just a month or two ago you were singing his praises like he was the second coming of Cy Young), and hitting that has stumbled and bumbled most of the way. The Rangers are, as said above, fundamentally bad, they have a large number of players who would never make it on a championship team (go on, tell me how many of these Rangers would make the Yankees, or the Red Sox, or the Angels – I’d say Benoit and CJ, and very few of the rest, including Michael Young), and they don’t look like getting better. Now, granted, the extension of Ron Washington may be a surrender flag, a sign that you’re accepting you won’t win for a couple of years so why not keep the teacher in to get some of these guys trained better. But while he’s sitting in the manager’s seat, how much training is he doing?
Remember Trey Hillman, who was a candidate for the job but stayed in Japan after winning the Japan Series last year? His team has a three game lead in their division this year. Think he’ll still be available in 2010?
Someone ought to start a Michael Young watch, in his pursuit of 200 hits. He needs 40 more, and has 29 games to do it. He’s going to need to step it up a little, he needs a couple of multi-hit games to get back on pace. And he should get a little education, too: “I think we have a ways to go,” Young said. “I have no idea what players we have in the Minor Leagues, but I would imagine extending Wash would be a step in the right direction.” He has no idea who’s in the minors? But wasn’t he just recently talking about all these guys coming up, and how he didn’t want to rebuild?
The poll on Rangers.com today: Who is the single most formidable opposing player for the Rangers? Choices are Vlad, Jeter, David Ortiz, Ichiro and Frank Thomas. Uhh, what about Thome? Are there any records on most times on base against opponents in a season? If so, he must be close to the top, since he reached base pretty much every time he came up this year.
Notes today tell us Salty is hitting like a thousand when he’s a catcher and nothing when playing first. Maybe he likes being a catcher? I’ve always wondered why catchers don’t hit better, since they see a hundred pitches a game, shouldn’t they get some better sort of perspective on it? You know, all those studies that say hitters hit pitchers better after three or four at-bats against them in a game. Is it just because they’re seeing their own pitcher, instead of the opponent?
John Danks was probably a little better than expected today, he got his share of strikeouts (against a team that loves to strike out), but also gave up a home run, and lost because of four errors in one inning. Something there to like for pretty much everyone, huh? Especially the Rangers, because they won.
Somewhere around there’s got to be a transcript of JD’s comments tonight during the game. He came across as a little arrogant, as I said earlier it was a lot of “I know everything and you all know nothing”. Maybe that’s a good thing, but he hasn’t built a track record yet (well, not a winning one, anyway). If he believes in Ron Washington so much, it’s doubtful he ever will.