A blowout win last night, coupled with the M's beating the A's, and the Rangers have clinched second place.
Evan Grant says that has some meaning for the Rangers, including giving them a small monetary bonus (since the 2nd place team gets a tiny playoff share). I've been talking about this for a while, and have wanted the team to finish 2nd, although I know some folks disagree. There's a poll below so folks can cast their votes.
Everyone knows the Rangers haven't finished higher than third since 1999...but it is kind of interesting to me that this is the first time the team has finished in 2nd in a 4 team division. The Rangers haven't finished in 2nd since 1993, when we were still in the two-division per league format.
Grant also writes that some decisions have to be made on the coaching staff, with only Rudy Jaramillo appearing secure. Grant notes that Ron Washington wanted Brad Fischer, rather than Matt Walbeck, as the third base coach, but was overruled, and at the DMN blog, Grant suggests that Art Howe could be out as bench coach. Grant notes that Howe was brought in as bench coach to assist Washington in terms of game management and preparation, and those have been weaknesses of the team.
Kevin Sherrington says that Nolan Ryan's show of patience and his decision to keep the g.m. and manager is a good thing for the Rangers long-term, despite implying that Ryan was the one who was wanting to fire Washington in April.
Randy Galloway has more grousing about Ryan not firing Daniels, dismissing the fact that the Rangers have the top ranked farm system in baseball as irrelevant until those prospects become major leaguers, and saying anyone can build from within, so there is no reason to keep Daniels on board.
Shockingly, Jennifer Floyd Engel says pretty much exactly what Galloway says, but also suggests that Ryan will be the de facto g.m., and that Daniels has been, in practical terms, busted down to Ryan's assistant.