In a column this morning entitled "Where's Hicks' Financial Flexibility", Randy Galloway absolutely unloads on Tom Hicks and John Hart...
Some choice excerpts:
Here in mid-August, what I do find is the Rangers reeking of mismanagement.
What I do find is a major-market team with a small-market payroll.
What I do find is the worst pitching mess in the history of the organization.
Thirty-four years of almost nothing but pitching shortages. And this is the worst ever.
And then last week, I read the comments of Boston pitcher Matt Clement, who was a top-tier free agent last winter.
You know what's always heard about big-time free agent pitchers and the Rangers.
No way they come here, not to pitch in the shooting gallery, unless there is a vast Ho-like over-payment. I've said it myself a number of times.
Yet, Clement went totally against that theory.
He said he would have "strongly considered" the Rangers.
All he wanted was an offer.
But he didn't hear from the Rangers all winter, and then, just before he was ready to make a decision, the phone rang.
"They asked if I'd be interested, and I said yes. I wanted to go to a team that would score some runs, and they have a potent offense. We told them we were going to decide in three or four days, and that must not have fit their timetable because we never got an offer."
Consider that for a second.
A good free agent pitcher says, yes, I'm interested, and yet there's no offer.
Because the Rangers wouldn't make an offer unless they could move out Alfonso Soriano's contract.
* * *
Don't spread this around, but I even started to consider the possibility that Mr. Hicks had told The Big Lie.
He has no Financial Flexibility.
He doesn't even have the smartest general manager in baseball.
Imagine my disappointment over the thought of being duped for 18 long months.
OK, maybe Matt Clement would have gone ahead and signed anyway with the Red Sox. But that's not the point.
He said the Arlington yard didn't scare him. He said he wanted an offer from the Rangers.
And there was not even a second phone call from the smartest general manager in baseball.
For three years, I've had to be ugly to John Hart, and call for his firing.
I don't retract that.
But today starts a new, stronger campaign.
Sell, Mr. Hicks. Sell the team now. You've killed it. Let someone else try to clean up your mess.
Right on, Randy...