I’m thankful that Torii Hunter signed for Anaheim. Oh, sure, he would have been a decent acquisition, would have filled in one of the holes we have, but given that we’re a couple of years away from contention (as he noted himself), the money spent would have been wasted. The Rangers supposedly offered 75 million and he went to Anaheim for 90 million. If you’re spending 75 or 90, and you’re the Rangers, you better spend it on pitching. I think Torii was just the latest in a long line of players who’ve used the Rangers as a stalking horse, just to jack up their price somewhere else. Am I worried about him playing for a division rival? No, not really. He’ll be effective early on, but by the end of the contract he’ll be a millstone, kind of like Gary Matthews already is. Speaking of, what are they going to do with GMJ? My guess, they’ll be looking for some way to void his contract now that he’s being dragged into the whole PED thing. So do you realize that over his career, Torii Hunter has a 104 OPS+? That’s right, he’s just four percent better than the average player. Wow. And his career steals rate is below break-even, too. I’m betting that you look back on his career in a few years and 2007 will be his peak, perfect timing for his free agent year.
I’m thankful that A-Rod left the Yankees, then went back. Still hate both of them, but this is just perfect, the greediest player with the greediest team. At least he did the Rangers one last favor and got $20 million back to us, so we can waste it on someone else. I’m glad this guarantees the Yankees will not win for the next decade (although I know he won’t be there that long, he’ll be crying to get out in a year or two). Is anyone else surprised that he considers Warren Buffett and some merchant bankers his friends? Yeah, I can just see them out on the ski slopes together, talking about how to invest his money. Poor little rich boy. You know all those old friends would just want a piece of his money. Not these guys, they just want a piece of the investment fees. You think A-Rod should be the poster child for selling your soul and losing your life?
I’m thankful that Scott Boras got the shaft, not once but twice. First A-Rod considers Warren Buffett a more reliable advisor, ignores Boras and goes back to the Yankees (in one of the more disastrous agent-fueled moves, surely – they thought the market was $350 million and they only got $280). Then Kenny Rogers dumps Boras and tries to negotiate by himself to get back to the Tigers. Is the luster finally coming off of Boras? He’s always been a jerk, self-promoting and wanting to be a power-agent, running baseball as it were. Finally a little kick in the pants, he needs to realize he’s an agent, not an owner.
I’m thankful that Kenny Rogers isn’t really coming back to the Rangers. Fourth time is not a charm. There were some stupid stories about it, but again it was just blowing smoke to try and leverage the Rangers’ interest into a deal elsewhere. Best part? When Tom Hicks says that Kenny still needs to apologize to the Rangers organization before they’ll consider bringing him back, and Kenny turns around and says what the heck is Hicks talking about, he already apologized to the world and their mother.
I’m thankful the Rangers announced that Ramon Vazquez will be back next year. I was wondering who they were going to choose to waste as many at-bats as possible, and now they’ve gotten that decision out of the way, they might try and look at some pitching help. Hey, maybe Blalock can go to first or DH full-time, and let Vazquez have 600 at-bats at third? And maybe they will have Vazquez run out on Opening Day carrying a giant towel, so they can show the fans who haven’t yet realized it that they’re throwing in the towel earlier than usual this year. Come on, they could have picked a scrub out of the minors for league minimum and saved half a million, which they could have added up with all the other wasted money and signed someone truly decent.
I’m thankful that the Twinkies are looking to shop Johan Santana. I think the Rangers should be right in there, offering them anything and offering him anything to be here the next five or ten years. Seriously, the only way the Rangers are going to get better is through pitching. There’s three ways to do that, grow it (which they’re doing pretty admirably, there might be two or three legitimate pitching prospects in the Rangers minors right now, more than in the last decade, or ever), buy it (very expensive, and usually the Rangers are left at the altar having jacked up the price for someone else), or trade for it. I want them to trade. They have a lot of prospects, most of whom won’t work out and are therefore at their most valuable right now. And there are a few guys out there, like Santana, or Dontrelle Willis. I’d pay the moon for Santana, as long as I get him on a long-term contract too. I’d pay half the moon for Dontrelle, because he’s been slipping lately and there’s all the promise in the world there. He’ll probably be too expensive for what you may get, at least Santana is guaranteed quality. And yes, I know the Rangers are a couple of years away, but you have to lock in people when you can and Santana is a once-a-decade kind of pitcher. Give him a year to get used to Arlington while we’re still struggling, a year to be teaching the young guys what to do, and then watch him ace our way to the playoffs. I would give up a lot for him, probably two top prospects (I would do Chris Davis and Eric Hurley together for Santana, but the Twins wouldn’t). Remember what they say about prospects? Remember the Pedro Martinez for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas deal? Pavano and Armas were huge prospects at the time, and there was wailing and gnashing of teeth from Red Sox Nation about losing them. Well, Pavano and Armas each ended up having one good season, several years later, and Pedro, he was just Pedro. TANSTAAPP. Don’t care how blue chip they are. TANSTAAPP.
I’m thankful the Angels don’t know how to read a calendar. Credit to Jamey Newberg for the story and followup.
I’m thankful it’s time for things to start heating up on the trade front. It’s only been a month and I’m pretty bored with nothing big happening. Hard to believe there’s still four months until the season begins, it seems like it’s been that long already.
Finally, I’m thankful that my wife, son and I are die hard Ranger fans. Despite all my doom and gloom-ism, there is a bright future ahead for the Rangers, as long as they can stick to a plan. Unless that plan is to keep coming up with new plans until one works. No, two or three more Thanksgivings and they’ll be contending, and maybe people will care as much about them as they do about the Cowboys (like that’ll ever happen). My son is three, I hope he’ll see a playoff game by the time he’s twice that age.
If you had turkey today, I hope you enjoyed it. Where I grew up, we never had turkey, so once again I roasted a chicken for Thanksgiving, and it was all good. Disappointed I couldn’t find a pumpkin to roast though, I guess they all disappeared after Halloween. Like the Rangers disappear after May, never to be seen again. May your family be happy, your thanks good, and your shopping easy tomorrow. Don’t forget, there’s only 120 or so days left until Opening Day.