Anyone who thinks John Daniels is going to be working for anyone other than the Rangers must have heard it from him. As an owner, Tom Hicks has never made a better personnel decision than his hiring of JD. As the Ranger's sit 12 games under .500, I couldn't be happier with the last few month's events and what I think it's going to mean for the future of this team.
I've always been a fan of the Rangers and their hitter-heavy teams. Nolan Ryan and Gonzo got me watching regularly as a kid and I've followed them closely ever sense. Before the start of the Reds series, as a fan, I hit rock bottom. My team and worst record in baseball were being mentioned in the same sentence. How was that possible? What was being done to fix that? That's when I started to dig a little further; you can't begin to understand how to fix something until you know where you are currently at. I assumed, like many, coming into this season we had a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. With all the talk before the draft about the Rangers having no prospects/bottom 3rd rating of the farm system, that's where I started.
All the "they" s out there were right. There wasn't much to get that excited about but there was a ton more information out there then I knew existed. I didn't know there were so many of you out there that followed the system so closely. JD was in the papers before the season, speaking about how they had a new commitment to the farm system. The articles laid out damn near the entire organizational chart and how it was going to work. At the time I remember thinking that all sounds good. But was it working? This just happened to be the time when some players started to put up #'s. Botts started hitting after a slow start. Volquez started pitching. Hurley, a guy that impressed in ST, didn't start the downward spiral that Ranger pitching prospects always seem to do. I was beginning to enjoy being a fan again. Then even more of the prospects began to pop up on my radar. Maybe the re-org and player development deserved a little more credit than it got, but needless to say, I carried this momentum into the draft.
6 picks in the first 2 rounds, Hell yeah. I couldn't be happier with the way it went. I think it took a lot to hold off on Bourbon with that first pick. We stocked up on pitchers. I had a list of best pitchers still available and they kept picking 1 of the top 3 on my list! I am still asking myself why we didn't take Mr. Porcello, even with his BL contact demand, but hey you cant win them all. (Or can you?) I know we have some not-signed and yes, Beaven is dumbass for holding out and missing out on jump starting his development, but I think even Ramirez gets signed before the deadline. The reason being is this: The landscape of baseball is changing. The reports of teams holding off until the deadline to sign above slot makes sense to me. Make the agents scramble at the end. This is the best way to improve your organization. Not the quickest, but the best. I think the tigers have proven this. Would you rather overpay a Porcello a few million or GMJ 8-12 million? You can have a lot more mistakes with the Porcello's. I think Rangers management is warming up to this. That's why I doubt we pick up a "big time" FA CFer. You lose picks and, I am in agreement with many of you, I don't think there is one out there.
Kenny Lofton. Mark Texiera. Eric Gagne. This is where I'm grinning as I type. I cant remember one trade since I've been a fan where someone from the national or local media didn't blast us for how short-sighted we were. IT ALWAYS HAPPENS. Instead I read posts on how Ramirez was the best power C prospect, how the brave's GM was selling out for one more run at a ring, that Beltre was an 18-yr old baseball Jesus. I added all the prospects into my personal prospect charts. I couldn't help but smile. Yes, I'll miss that B-E-A-utiful swing, but damn if I don't think we haven't improved our organization's health. That is what I was looking for when I started this quest.
So whom do I have to thank? Ya'll answer that one...