From the S-T:
Hicks said the Rangers' priority is still to develop their own pitching, but he also said the team might have to trade offense for pitching and take a hard look at the free-agent market this winter.
"We need to give a lot of attention to our rotation and our bullpen," Hicks said. "The key right now is to give as many of our young guys a chance as you start putting together a team for next year.
"We're not going to do anything stupid or risky, but it's obvious we've got to improve our pitching. We need to be creative."
A five-year, $65 million deal for Chan Ho Park soured Hicks on long-term deals for pitchers, but he said three-year deals with free agents this winter might make sense.
"There's a big difference between a three-year deal and a five-year deal," Hicks said. "That's smart baseball if you can get the right guy for two or three years. But there were a lot of three-year deals done last year we're glad we didn't do."
and the DMN...
Owner Tom Hicks won't perform the autopsy on the Rangers until after the season, no matter how dead the standings may suggest they are.
Nevertheless, Hicks on Friday sounded like he already has moved on to next season.
"We've had a tough time since the All-Star break, but hopefully we've still got another good run in us," Hicks said. "I know the start of the road trip has been tough. I've watched every game and suffered along [with] every fan."
What Hicks had seen as of Friday were four consecutive losses in which the Rangers allowed 44 runs.
Though the owner held nobody in particular responsible for the pitching staff's failure, he did make it clear that pitching has again been the team's downfall.
"Obviously, we need to improve our starting rotation and our bullpen," Hicks said. "We're going to have a chance to see our young pitchers over the next two months. That will help us as we get ready for next year."
I'm sure Hicks' suffering is somewhat alleviated by the fact that he's on track to make a very healthy profit off of the team this year. However, his comments suggest that he knows that the $55 million payroll he saddled the 2005 Rangers with isn't going to get it done, and that the team is going to be a little more active this offseason in trying to improve.
The one thing that is a bit worrisome is the notion of trading offense for pitching...if they are talking about dealing Soriano, for example, or some minor league hitters, an Adrian Gonzalez or a Joaquin Arias, that's one thing. But if you are talking about dealing a Hank Blalock or a Mark Teixeira for pitching, I'm going to scream bloody murder.
Also, both the S-T and DMN confirm my guess from last night, that C.J. Wilson's outing in long relief last night has resulted in Juan Dominguez getting the call-up today for the start against New York.
Rotoworld's blurb today on C.J. Wilson continued their season-long whipping of the Rangers' roster management:
It'd be nice if official scorers had some leeway in cases like this. The Rangers lost tonight because Chris Young gave up five runs in three innings, because Michael Young got thrown out stealing to bail Al Leiter out of a jam and because John Hart has done a terrible job of putting together a major league roster (Tom Hicks and Buck Showalter probably deserve some blame there, too). Wilson did a terrific job of saving the pen and keeping the team in the game and didn't deserve to go to 0-5 in his career. Because Wilson pitched in relief tonight, it appears likely that James Baldwin will start tomorrow.
And finally, for those of you who don't subscribe to the Newberg Report, check out this morning's piece from Michael Hindman...it seems that he may -- just may -- have joined the Dark Side...