Friday, March 2, 2007

Turning a Corner?

I grew up a big time Ranger fan. I remember going to a game in 1982 hoping Dave Hostetler would hit another home run. I remember listening to the radio when they announced that Don Zimmer had been fired as Ranger's manager. Former owner Eddie Chiles had these commercials where he said "I'm mad" all the time. I got Rick Honeycut's autograph at Golden Triangle mall and then I was really upset when he got traded for Dave Stewart. I couldn't understand why they would trade Scott Fletcher for Harold Baines. I listened to Nolan Ryan's 7th no-hitter on the radio. I watched him beat up Robin Ventura on TV.

I have suffered with the Rangers. I've been alive for 32 of the Rangers 34 years and I've had three playoff apperances and one playoff win. I wasn't even watching that game. I was at a Star's preseason game. Cubs and Red Sox fans (pre-2004) have got nothing on me. It really annoys me to hear about how terrible it's been to be a fan of those teams. At least the Cubs have won a playoff series. Each time the Rangers went to the playoffs they ran into the buzzsaw that was the *&$%^$% Yankees. (I hate them more than anything!!!!!)

Something happened yesterday that gives me hope (even more than the usual hope that comes with Spring Training). They signed Michael Young to a long term contract extension. Now Michael Young is the face of the organization. He may be the best face the team has ever had. This is my hope, and baseball is all about hope. My hope is that this represents a paradigm shift for the Rangers. They had a good thing going in the late 90s, but 2001-2002 was a disaster as they threw truckfuls of money at free agents like Alex Rodriguez, Chan Ho Park, Juan Gonzalez to various levels of success and failure. But where it mattered most it was a failure. A-Rod was a great player. I went to two games that he won on walk-off homeruns, but he was a mercenary who never really bought into the city and, in collusion with Buck Showalter, who didn't want anyone as powerful as he was, got himself traded to New York. (Don't even get me started on all that. There will be cussing and I assume we want to keep the relatively family friendly. I blame everyone on that.)

I think with the coming of Jon Daniels and Ron Washington (and the leaving of John Hart and Buck Showalter) I think the future is bright for the Rangers. I really like the aggressive moves of the off-season, trading for Brandon McCarthy, signing Vincente Padilla and Eric Gagne, a steady infusion of young talent in Nelson Cruz and Robinson Tejeda, and with others coming, like Eric Hurley and Thomas Diamond. The Rangers don't seem content to just throw money at a problem, but to work to steadly build a team that can content now and in the future. I'm glad that player like Michael Young is going to be at the center of all this. And hopefully Mark Texiera will be batting behind him for a long time as well. Hope springs eternal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Law was working for the Blue Jays in 2000 when they gave Young and some other guy to the Rangers for Esteban Loaiza. If he was I guess he is (was) probably an excellent judge of talent.