Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another Hard Right Turn

In the 35 illustrious years of the Rangers, they have a grand total of one Hall of Famer: Nolan Ryan. But even he spent the best years of his career in California and Houston. It was he, however, who brought legitimacy to the team playing in a glorified AAA ball field in Arlington. You could say that the Ballpark is the Ballpark Nolan Built, because it was his popularity that allowed that beautiful park to be built in the first place and he is rightfully honored with a statue in the centerfield concourse. Now, he returns to Arlington as president of the Texas Rangers. He is a strong change from the previous presidents who were business people who seemed not to care even a little bit about baseball.

Over the past several years, in fact since Tom Hicks bought the team, the biggest complaint I've had is that the can't seem to stick to a plan. They swing back and forth between throwing big money at free agents and building from within, usually mixing in the terrible trade, the terrible free agent signing, and the terrible draft. In fact, usually for their whole history, it's if something bad can happen it will. Perhaps Murphy's Law should be changed to Ranger's Law: if something bad can happen it probably will.

However, I think the franchise is now on more solid footing that it has been in a long time. But that footing is precarious. Because of shrewd trades and an almost universally lauded draft last year, the Rangers went from one of the worst farm systems to one of the best, with some top prospects on the cusp of helping the team this year. However, most the big time pitching prospects are below AA and anything can happen to them (considering Ranger's Law, probably bad things).

As you all know, I like what JD has done over the last year or so. He's not batting a 1.000, but he's doing pretty good. I'm nervous about Ryan coming in and changing things before we have a chance to know if JD's plan is going to work. Apparently, Ryan's going to have say over all baseball matters. I'm nervous.

I read now, that it means that Tom Hicks will step back from baseball matters. If that is the case and Ryan can do to Hicks what he did to Robin Ventura, then I'm all for it. Only thing though, how long do you think that'll last?

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