I was all prepared to talk about how I had mentally geared up for a 10 game losing streak to end the season, and then the Rangers won last night, and ruminate about Hank Blalock's resurgence...
However, the big news today is that Nolan says Jon Daniels and Ron Washington will be back next year.
I'm relieved. I had gone back and forth on what I thought would happen, and figured it was 50/50 or 60/40 as to whether Daniels would return, a little less than that on Washington.
There will be people surprised by this decision. Gil LeBreton writes about that today:
Nolan’s response, no doubt, may surprise some people. The same people who think Washington was over his head when he arrived here in November 2006. The same people who were convinced that Washington was hours from being fired in late-April of this season, when a sudden elixir of Wash’s birthday and a four-game winning streak spared him.
* * *
For a full season, Nolan has watched and, we assume, assessed. Some people expect a purge, of sorts, starting as high as the general manager’s office.
But those, again, are the same people that, for whatever reason — owner Tom Hicks, perhaps? — never liked the idea of hiring Jon Daniels, only six years out of Cornell, as general manager.
"It’s easy to see where we ended up and say, 'We need to go out and make all these changes,’ " Ryan said Tuesday.
But the franchise’s philosophy hasn’t wavered, Nolan said.
"We all agreed that we’re going to develop within our system," he said.
"Development is not a quick fix."
Ryan clearly acknowledges the progress that the Rangers’ farm system has made. Some young players, no doubt, are more major league-ready (Chris Davis) than others (pick a pitcher, any pitcher).
With only today’s game left on the home schedule, attendance has disappointed the front office.
But those who have followed the Rangers’ winding path this season surely have seen the new nucleus of youth that has emerged — from Kinsler to Murphy to Davis and more.
Daniels has been scourged plenty for trading away John Danks, Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez. But most loyal Rangers fans likely would view a change in general managers as another setback, another flushing of philosophies — and just when the franchise appeared to have finally figured this "player development thing" out.
Ryan, fortunately, isn’t planning to flush anything, at least not down any philosophy bowl.
So there you go.
Hank Blalock was huge yesterday, and his strong finishing kick may force the Rangers' hand in terms of exercising his option next year and deciding what to do with him. I have some thoughts on a possible solution that I'll post later today, time allowing.
Richard Durrett's article in the DMN today touches on Blalock's uncertain future, and also has some quotes from Frank Catalanotto saying that he doesn't know what his role will be next year, but that he's going to work hard and do whatever the team asks and just try to help the team win.