To all the Cincinnati fans who visited my blog today: You win. No, really. You might not be thinking so right now, in fact there are probably Rangers fans out there thinking they won, but I guarantee that in the long run, Cincinnati won this trade. Oh, forget about Danny Ray Herrera, he’s nothing in this except a throw-in. To quote Tom Hicks: “the other owner didn’t want to do the deal so we had to sweeten it up [with Herrera]”. You know why the other owner didn’t want to do the deal? Because Hamilton was “a fan favorite”. Ha ha ha! They put in another player because the fans like their guy? Wow, let’s trade Michael Young! We can probably get Johan Santana for him, just because the Rangers fans love him so much! If only Pudge was still here, we could have gotten the New York Yankees.
Edinson Volquez, though (boy, when I first read about the trade I thought they must have meant Ramon Vazquez). He will be sorely missed by the Rangers. Not only as the #4 starter this year, which he would have been, but because he would have been #3 the next two years and probably #2 after that. Yes, I mean that, I think Volquez is potentially a #2 starter on a major league staff, definitely a #3. Look at his numbers (and ignore the crap you’ll read on sites like ESPN), you will see his stats improving every single year. Plus, and it’s a big plus, he’s only 24 years old. He was rushed to the majors at a young age and struggled, but then turned it around and came on strong. Unless the Rangers know something bad about him, this is the kind of loss that will come back and haunt us for years to come (am I being a hypocrite, because I’m always quoting TINSTAAPP? No, because I think Volquez has graduated from prospect status, he’s moved into that middle ground of getting ready to explode).
And we get Josh Hamilton back. I had Jon Daniels all figured out, he was doing some smart things all year long, but he has to go and ruin our Christmas (and next few seasons) by pulling a bonehead move like this. Hicks, we already know he’s a bonehead. But JD now falls in my estimation – he’s now into my “we will not win until he’s gone” category, along with Hicks and Ron Washington. Remember the old saying? Those who can’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it? JD has never read a Rangers history, and thus doesn’t know it’s the pitching, stupid. Do you hear me, JD? IT’S THE PITCHING, STUPID!
No, really, how did Hicks become a billionaire? Given their propensity to buy high and sell low, how did he manage to keep all his money? I mean, Hamilton’s probably just had his career year, and Volquez is just starting his career. Maybe we can go get Adam Eaton back while we’re at it, maybe give San Diego another Chris Young/Adrian Gonzalez package. This is what truly irks me, that someone who has done so well in business just becomes blind when it comes to ballplayers. He’s not putting talent in the baseball front office like he would in his corporate office. Either that or he doesn’t listen, which is pretty much the same thing as not having them.
We now have just a D left from the DVD trio, which ironically is the rating you’d have to give Rangers management this year. They were pulling a solid B for a long while, but their efforts this offseason are killing their grade. Thomas Diamond better watch out next December though, we’re determined to take them out one at a time.
What does Ron Washington think? “It’s a very Merry Christmas that Jon Daniels and Mr. Hicks have brought to the Texas Rangers in Josh Hamilton.” Ron, you are an ass. The perfect yes-man. And still living in the 70s with your career.
At the beginning of the off-season, the Rangers had Byrd, Murphy and Botts in position to play the outfield in 2008. A little weak, maybe? Not so much, but they could do with a little upgrading, sure. To wipe out 2/3 of that is crazy though. In a recent post, I showed Runs Created by position, and that both left and center were a little above average, and right was well below. Okay, so you need someone in right (although arguably at least Botts and Murphy should improve next year), so go out and get someone if you have to. Not Milton Bradley though. He’s a train wreck waiting to happen. And then bring in Hamilton, and all of a sudden one of those guys is being pushed even further back. Anyone need a Botts? We’ll take your leftover trash for him, and watch him become an MVP elsewhere. Hey, who was that druggie who played for Tampa (no, not Josh Hamilton, the other one). Wonder if he’s still around? Him, Hamilton and Bradley, wouldn’t you like to share a clubhouse with them?
Okay, so now I’ve mentioned the big bear in the middle of the room. Yes, Hamilton had a drug issue. Yes, he beat it, if you can ever beat it. But how often do you really truly beat it? What’s the odds of a relapse? Doesn’t really matter. Better yet, who is worse, someone who takes a performance enhancing drug like steroids, or someone who takes a snort of coke? At least the roider was trying to win. Frankly, his off-field problems don’t bother me that much, until they spill onfield. You know, like Milton Bradley’s issues? And when a guy misses three years of his career due to drug suspensions, he’s a problem. But look at Hamilton’s career – the most at-bats he’s had in a season is 391, and that was in 2000! Which begs the question: did they sign Bradley and Hamilton because between the two of them they might get one full season of playing time?
Sooner or later the screaming in my head is going to stop. I’m betting it’ll be in a year or two, when Hamilton has washed out of the Rangers outfield (they don’t give anyone a chance there). Or maybe after Volquez wins 20 games in a season.
Oh yeah, Eddie Guardado? I guess we’ll have our new closer soon. Yep, because it’s very important to get a few extra saves out of a 37 year old. No, wouldn’t want CJ to have more experience by the time we get to winning, would we. Let alone someone else in the pen who could have used those innings, and would be around in 2010, and still this side of a pension.
Can you tell I’m mad about this deal? I can’t wait for their ticket people to call again and try and sell me something. Because I’ll give them a message they won’t soon forget – and I’ll promise not to buy their season tickets until Tom Hicks and Jon Daniels are a million miles away from Arlington.