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A few thoughts in response to some comments I've seen

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A few thoughts I wanted to share on the flak the organization is getting for trading John Danks for Brandon McCarthy, and for supposedly being incompetent when it comes to identifying and developing pitching talent...

The condemnation for failing to properly identify and develop pitching is interesting, given how far back those struggles go. Doug Melvin, who has been turned into a martyr by some Rangers fans since he got whacked for not developing pitching, was awful at it. His track record for drafting pitching here was poor, his track record for developing pitching here was poor, and his track record for signing free agent pitchers was poor. Melvin's tenure here was marked by an inability to develop talent from within, in general, and an inability to develop pitching from within, in particular.

And the one time in recent years the Rangers brought in a guy with a great track record for drafting and developing pitchers, he got run out of town after 2 ½ years (a move that seemed to ultimately be deemed acceptable by a lot of fans because, after all, that guy drafted Drew Meyer instead of Scott Kazmir).

The Rangers have struggled in drafting and developing pitchers for 20 years. I have no idea why, and I don't know if Jon Daniels and his crew will be able to change that. But it is way too early to make the decision about whether or not they are competent in that regard. Axing Daniels now means overhauling the organization yet again, bringing in your 4th g.m. in the past 7 years, your 5th manager in that time period, yet another farm director and group of scouts with yet another organizational philosophy they'll need several years to implement...I just don't see how that makes any sense, unless you are convinced that Daniels is an incompetent who is incapable of getting this organization going the right way.

And if you didn't think that when he was hired, 20 months ago, I don't think that what has transpired since then is sufficient to say now that he needs to go.

The fact that so many folks are already writing off the McCarthy/Danks trade as a failure is interesting to me, as well.

One of the things I keep seeing people hammer McCarthy about is that he's a flyball pitcher. I think using Brandon McCarthy's flyball tendencies as a basis for condemning trading John Danks for him is a bit disingenuous, given that Danks was just as much of a flyball pitcher throughout his minor league career as McCarthy is, and has the 5th lowest GB/FB percentage in the A.L. right now. Yeah, Danks is a lefty, but McCarthy has historically been more effective against lefthanders than righthanders. So I don't see that the lefty/righty issue or the flyball nature of McCarthy gives Danks any significant edge.

At the end of the day, I think the team that wins this deal will be the team that ends up with the best pitcher. Before this deal was made, I don't think there were a hell of a lot of folks (outside of Rangers fans) who saw Danks as a better pitcher than McCarthy, particularly given that McCarthy had better numbers and peripherals in the majors last year than Danks did in the minors, and I don't think that the performance in the first 6 weeks of 2007 is enough to suddenly prove that Danks is the superior pitcher and this deal is a bust.

And yeah, I know Nick Masset was part of the deal, as well, but I'm not going to lose a ton of sleep over his inclusion in the deal. If he ends up being a dominant reliever or quality starter, so be it, but I'm not holding my breath on that.

I'm also a little surprised that, after Danks' comments about all the "fair-weather" Rangers fans, about hating the attention and the DVD nickname, and all the pressure he felt he was under here, he continues to have such a vocal and supportive fan base among Rangers fans, given how quickly folks here have turned on other former Rangers who had negative things to say after they left.

And I have to think that a lot of the visceral hostility to the trade comes from the fact that Danks was a Texas native who had participated in NMLR events and been groomed for several years by the organization. If Danks was from Bozeman, MT, and had never appeared for an NMLR event, I have to think the hostility would be a lot more muted.

Now, the one trade involving pitching that I think Daniels absolutely deserves to be pilloried for was the Eaton trade. It was a stupid, stupid trade, for reasons that have been re-hashed ad nauseum, and unlike some other trades that have backfired - like the Wilkerson trade - it is hard to even see a reasonable rationale for the move.

But as I've said before, I also think that it is naïve to believe that Young would have been nearly as successful in Texas as he has been in San Diego. Young's peripherals got worse last season, not better...he had a great ERA because he allowed an incredibly low number of doubles and triples, the product of having the best defensive outfield in baseball behind him. Young benefited more from his defense, because of the type of pitcher he is and the type of defenders he had behind him, more than just about any other pitcher in baseball. Put him back in Texas, and he's not a sub-4 ERA guy...he's a #3 or #4 starter.

If the Rangers get a big negative on evaluating pitching talent in the Eaton/Young trade, they do deserve credit in evaluating pitching talent in the Tejeda trade, in the Padilla trade, and in the Dominguez trade.

It is way too early to evaluate this regime. This season has sucked donkey testes so far, has been the most life-sucking start that I can remember since either 2001 or 2002, but it also isn't a big flashing red light indicating the organization can't evaluate pitching talent. And despite what has happened so far in 2007, I have to feel fairly good about the idea of going in 2008 with Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Brandon McCarthy, and Robinson Tejeda in the 1-2-3-4 spots in the rotation.