It's a testament to the type of season the Rangers had to take a look at the community projections for this year... a list that included Botts, Jennings, and human medical curiosities Brandon McCarthy and Hank Blalock. In a season that seemed like, eventually, the Rangers' marketing department would start naming "wild card fans" as injury replacements in the field, many of the projected starters from the beginning of the season faded to irrelevance as the season wore on.
Mr. Burns' team of ringers from The Simpsons had nothing on the 2007 Rangers.
Community: .283/.347/.502, 592 PA
Reality: .287/.338/.508, 281 PA
The numbers are about what the community expected, frankly, in almost half the plate appearances. Not even resident sourpuss DJCahill was that pessimistic about Hammer's injury prospects. What's next for Hank, rickets? The smart money, I think, is on disseminating intravascular coagulopathy (DIC), a type of hemolytic anemia that, in the veterinary industry, they call "Death Is Coming" or "Dead In Cage." I understand that the primary causes are pregnancy and being the Rangers' third baseman. Interestingly, in a small sample size, of course, he slugged .566 and was good for a .903 OPS against lefties this season. He's 0 for infinity vs. hemorraghing vaginitis, though.
Community: .263/.344/.431, 295 PA
Reality: .158/.304/.395, 46 PA
Poor Jason Botts. Did you know Japanese pizza frequently has sweet corn as a topping? Jason Botts does, poor bastard. I picture Jason Botts wandering forlornly through the streets of Hokkaido, a giant blonde monster, munching on some seasoned cuttlefish crackers and reduced to retrieving objects from high shelves for spare change because even in Japan he's still a crappy baseball player.
Community: .287/.325/.402, 385 PA
Reality: .298/.380/.462, 462 PA
Well, he's no Matt Murton. Marlon had a terrible start to the season, of course, and a fairly pedestrian first half. He had an absolute scorcher of an August, though. I think he's going to be a free agent after 2009, so I'm sure the Angels will want to add him to their stable. A team can never have enough 30-something year old centerfielders
Community: .287/.375/.485, 430 PA
Reality: .321/.436/.563, 509 PA
Milton Bradley is the shiznit. I don't care if Bradley suddenly turned into Charles Haley, I'd want him to play on my team. Having a season like this from a Ranger DH was simply something to behold. Remember Richard Hidalgo? Remember Brad Fulmer? Oh, well, he's likely gone in 2009, but at least we have the beautiful memories.
Frankie the Cat
Community: .285/.356/.432, 381 PA
Reality: .274/.342/.399, 278 PA
Frankie doesn't really have a place on this team anymore, but at least he's a good sport about it. I figure Frankie is Matt Stairs without the gut or power.
Community: .301/.381/.566, 504 PA
Reality: .304/.371/.530, 704 PA
Wow, I hadn't realized that the community had been so bullish on Josh. The standard deviation wasn't that large, either. My favorite Josh moment... the homer off Putz. And Jeff Sullivan whining about it.
Community: .283/.364/.467, 618 PA
Reality: .319/.375/.517, 583
Damn you, sports hernia. Damn you straight to hell. Ian smashed the community projections pretty good. Of course, if Jamey Newberg has his way, Kinsler, Chris Davis, Holland, Salty, and Hank Blalock's superfluous rib will all go to Kansas City in exchange for Zack Greinke. After all, our coaching staff has done such a wonderful job with arm angles, I'd love to see what they can do with social anxiety disorder. The other thing I found kind of interesting was that Kinsler was able to quite dramatically reverse his platoon splits this year.
Community: .253/.311/.392, 344 PA
Reality: .276/.329/.398, 381 PA
Gerald Laird went ahead and had a decent season for himself. Gerald had one of the largest standard deviations in the group, which isn't surprising considering his history. As far as how they handle the catching situation going forward, I just hope they poop or get off the pot... make a decision and not end up with a repeat of Laird's tenure where the player gets jerked around for four seasons.
Community: .312/.363/.443, 701 PA
Reality: .284/.339/.402, 708 PA
Don't worry Michael Young pessimists, he outslugged both Frankie Cat and Jason Botts. And if we can only figure out a way to strategically turn his GIDP's into runs, we may yet get our money's worth from him. Ortonius and grumpass DJCahill get the award for being the most appropriately pessimistic on this one, with honorable mentions going to miles and WhipSmart.