More buzzing in the wake of yesterday's Evan Grant article, which suggested some doubt exists over whether John Hart will be back next season as G.M.
Randy Galloway jumps on the issue with his column today, saying Tom Hicks' top two priorities this offseason should be to fire John Hart and to then sell the club. Can't say I disagree with either sentiment. We also have this interesting tidbit from that column:
My guess, strictly a guess, is Hicks' next move will be a removal of Hart from the GM job, and a promotion of pitching coach Orel Hershiser to the post.
T.R. Sullivan, meanwhile, has a piece today where Hicks comes out a little stronger behind Hart than he did yesterday:
Rangers owner Tom Hicks made it clear Wednesday that he still has confidence in general manager John Hart.
"Absolutely," Hicks said. "I like the direction we're headed. We have a great group of guys at the top. The fact that we're finishing the season strong is a good sign."
Hicks said it's still up to Hart to decide how long he wants to remain as general manager and how passionate he is about the job. Hart is signed through next year and is busy making preparations for what the Rangers might or might not do in the off-season.
"I'm still driving hard," said Hart, 57. "When I came here, I signed up for three years. I gave it a fourth year [this season], and I'm glad I did. I'm signed up for a fifth year and ready to go. I haven't given my much thought to my situation."
Instead, Hart will have a teleconference meeting Friday with his scouts, who have been traveling the country looking at any and all pitchers who might be available by trade or free agency this winter.
On Saturday, Hart, manager Buck Showalter and their respective staffs will sit down and review the season. On Monday, Hicks will meet with his top baseball people.
Then Hicks and Hart will sit down and discuss the general manager's future and how long he wants to continue. Hart has been planning at some point to move into a consultant's role but hasn't decided when.
"John and I will sit down, discuss where the organization is going and what he wants to do," Hicks said. "That hasn't changed."
I still have my doubts that he'll be back, at least as general manager.
Finally, the DMN's online poll on John Hart is still indicating he's not real popular with the fans, as 94% of respondent's say he should be replaced as general manager...