Tim Cowlishaw has one of the best columns I've seen in some time, on the current Rangers mess...
When Michael Young and Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock and David Dellucci all express their doubts about management, as they did in The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, it's more than a sign of losing-streak frustration.
The Rangers are a riddle, but there's nothing funny about it right now. They have an All-Star offense and a Triple-A (at best) pitching staff. There's nothing terribly new about that. It's just that a year ago, they were moving in a positive direction in terms of pitching, but they have regressed badly during this season and, specifically, during the eight-game losing streak they took to Jacobs Field on Wednesday night.
You have to wonder how many players had already tuned out manager Buck Showalter before his post-game tirade after Loss No. 8 on Tuesday night.
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I'm still not sure why the Rangers didn't trade [Soriano] to Minnesota for Kyle Lohse, reliever J.C. Romero and a prospect. Heck, Lohse may look like a journeyman starter to Twins fans, but he'd look like an ace on this staff.
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When asked about not doing the deal Wednesday, owner Tom Hicks said something about "bad contracts."
Well, Soriano's got one, too, so give me an overpaid pitcher with an ERA of 4.17 over an overpaid hitter any time.
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The Rangers developed Ryan Drese last year, then cut him because Showalter didn't like him and because they thought (wrongly) he would clear waivers. They are developing Chris Young this year. Maybe he will be more consistent in 2006.
But what else? Juan Dominguez just got here and he has a track record of trouble. Ricardo Rodriguez has been a prospect for about three years now. Any big believers in C.J. Wilson or Joaquin Benoit out there?
The good players shouldn't wait patiently for the team's top prospects - Thomas Diamond, John Danks and Edison Volquez - to develop. Those pitchers are two to three years away from being solid members of the rotation, and history tells us that all three won't make it. Maybe only one of them will.
Hicks contends there is more help on the way.
"It's not just Diamond-Danks-Volquez. And we may see Volquez before the year's out," he said. "We're starting for the first time to have depth in young pitching."
The most interesting points...
- Cowlishaw hammers the Minnesota non-trade. Lohse, Romero and J.D. Durbin (or some other Twins pitching prospect) wouldn't have been a great return for Soriano, but it would have been better than the alternative.
- Cowlishaw is also the first person I've seen in the DFW press come right out and say that Drese's downfall stemmed, in no small part, from the fact that Buck didn't like him.
- Buck's grip on the clubhouse is, once again, being questioned.
- Cowlishaw vocalizes a very realistic view of when D-V-D will be ready, and the likelihood of any of them having an impact.
Grant says that Showalter and Dom Chiti met with some of the complaining players, although given Chiti's role as Hart's "bad cop" within the organization, I'm a bit suspicious about how productive those meetings would have been.