The Rangers have been swept away, first by Boston, now by the Yankees. Everyone said that this road trip might be the team's last stand, and halfway through, they've looked like Custer against the Indians.
I've spent a lot of time the last year or two saying that it isn't all the pitching, that the pitching really isn't that bad...but lately, it has been the pitching. The pitching is the reason this team has fallen out of contention, and the pitching is the reason that the team is free-falling right now.
And in the DMN, a couple of pitchers seem to acknowledge that...although in a rather weird way...from the DMN:
The two senior members of the Rangers' beleaguered pitching staff - starter Kenny Rogers and reliever Doug Brocail - said they are fine with position players' frustrations over the poor results.
They just don't want players to start pointing fingers publicly.
"It's OK if they think that, but I just don't want to hear it come out of their mouths," Brocail said.
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To this point, the position players have stepped delicately around the subject of pitchers' performance.
"To start pointing fingers is not going to change the way we pitch or the way they play," Rogers said. "You don't blame people out in the open. When you win or lose, it's never one guy either way. It's a team effort."
So Brocail now feels like it is his position what can and cannot come out of the mouths of the guys who are actually doing their jobs?
And Kenny Rogers wants to talk about people pointing fingers?
I've got to say, you've got to have a huge pair if you are Rogers or Brocail to make comments like that at this point.
First of all, it is the pitching that's let the team down. The positional players have been carrying this team. And still, in a recent radio interview, Tom Hicks blamed the offense for the team's struggles, and when questioned about Mike Young and Mark Teixeira pleading for the front office to give them more help, he said that they would just have to play better.
It is the leaders on this team, the productive players, who have been called out by the front office, not the pitching staff.
Secondly...Doug Brocail, you don't want to hear any criticism come out of the hitters' mouths?
Guess what? I didn't want to see you charge out of the bullpen to confront a fan in Oakland last September. I didn't want to see you commit one of the stupidest acts I've seen a Ranger player commit on the playing field in the past couple of years. I didn't want to see you precipitate an incident which resulted in multiple suspensions and contributed to the Rangers' failing to make the playoffs last year.
And Kenny Rogers...well, Kenny Rogers' inability to control himself led to that whole cameraman fiasco which caused him to miss three starts, forced the Rangers to play short-handed for over two weeks, and made the team (once again) the laughingstock of the league.
For those two to start warning the positional players on how to act or behave is unbelievable.
And it is also a bit revealing, since I don't think either of them would have said anything if there weren't already some quiet grumbling going on in the clubhouse. Ken Rosenthal wrote a column about a month ago saying that Showalter was losing the clubhouse, and while Randy Galloway, as big a Showalter fan as there is in DFW, made a similar warning last week.
When veterans start telling the press that players don't need to be pointing figures publicly, it would seem to be a sign that players are pointing fingers privately. And that sort of thing is generally seen as a sign that a manager is starting to lose the clubhouse.
This particular little drama is one more than worth watching as the season winds down...