Adrian Beltre is gone.
This is the first time I’ve written those words on LSB. It took me a long while to muster the courage to do this. Adrian Beltre is one of my favorite earthlings, and I will miss seeing him on the field (who else will jog in place right after a pitch comes a bit too close?).
Jeff Banister is gone and the Chris Woodward era is upon us. The 42-year-old takes the reigns of his first MLB managerial job after three years in Los Angeles with the Dodgers organization. When the Rangers announced the Woodward hire, I had mixed feelings about it because this hire wasn’t Michael Young (not that Young was going to be the manager). Woodward is young enough to relate to the young men on this current roster, and the fact that he came over from the Dodgers — one of the pioneers in data usage — was a solid win for me.
It couldn’t get much better, I thought. I mean, a data analysis-minded manager who values relationships is a hell of a get for a team full of young up-and-comers. It couldn’t get any better.
And then the Rangers dropped (in my mind) a bombshell during the Winter Meetings: Brandon McCarthy signed to be a Special Assistant to the General Manager.
WHAAAAATTTTTT? WHO ARE THESE RANGERS? IS THIS HAPPENING?
The Man-With-69-Wins-And-A-4.20-Era™ is a Texas Ranger (again). Amazing stat line aside, the Rangers hiring Brandon McCarthy is emblematic of their commitment to data usage. McCarthy, who spent a couple of seasons with new manager Chris Woodward in Los Angeles is a smart guy with a wealth of major league experience. We don’t quite know what the “Special Assistant” role will be specifically, but it’s reasonable to assume that McCarthy will be used to analyze data relative to playing experience. And this is a huge deal for Texas.
Another aspect of the McCarthy hire which had me so pumped up: his Twitter presence. A lot of you won’t care one way or the other about this aspect (“it doesn’t translate to baseball, Mike!”), but to me it’s a good thing for the Rangers.
McCarthy’s Twitter wit is a welcome addition to a franchise which, let’s face it, really doesn’t have that going for it. If anything, the Rangers have had some Twitter-related issues of late with another employee (but that’s another story for another time), so it’s great to see someone smart and reasonable and very funny representing the franchise.
The time he got signed by the Yankees, a franchise with like 400 retired numbers:
*Kramer's moviefone voice* "well why don't you just tell me what number isn't retired"— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) July 8, 2014
The time he realized he controls Jerry Seinfeld’s life:
Its ridiculous but when I start against the Mets I'm very aware that Jerry Seinfeld's mood is in my hands.— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) June 21, 2017
The time he demanded equal attention from a teammate:
I tried my best on a strikeout the other day and you didn't say shit. Quit playing favorites with your tweets— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) June 4, 2017
The time he grand slammed Piers Morgan:
Oh Piers you silly man, you're a disgraced newspaper editor spending his Saturday searching himself online. Your life is the minor leagues. https://t.co/7aevv1tTM9— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) February 11, 2017
The (scary) time he was hospitalized with a brain injury after getting hit in the head:
WELL IF BEING DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL ISNT THE BEST TIME TO ASK ABOUT A THREESOME THEN IM FRESH OUT OF IDEAS— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) September 11, 2012
And, most recently, the time he explained why he was hired by the Rangers front office:
I got the job because when they asked for outside the box thinking I said "why do they call them jet-skis and not boatercycles."— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) December 12, 2018
Bottom line, the Rangers are trending way, way up. The roster is incomplete but the front office and coaching is trending positively.
I’m here for all of this and I think Brandon McCarthy and I should sit down for tacos and talk about life and Twitter.
RT if you agree!