I wasn’t an active blogger before the spring of 2012. I had a blog where I would rant about sports, city politics here where I live, architecture and talk about TV shows I watched. After reading Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan’s Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season, I had the bright idea to blog the Ranger’s 2012 season. I mean why not? They were coming off back-to-back World Series appearances and looked poised for a third. Where their book chronicled the ridiculous end of the Curse of the Bambino, my blog chronicled an epic collapse.
There were many things we saw in August and September and while I couldn’t bring myself to say it at the time, when gathered with the lack of success in the off-season, I wonder if we are having a problem with hubris. Pride goeth before the fall you know. Every step of the way, I have been very proud myself of the way we have done business. Going all the way back to that courtroom where the Nolan Ryan led group won the Rangers taking on some pretty impressive bidders.
Nolan Ryan brings an old school approach to business that I truly respect. It’s so rare in today’s cut throat world. The notion that a man is as good as his word is lost these days. I am sure that is exactly what happened with Josh Hamilton. We had his word that he would touch base with us one last time before he signed elsewhere. The end result was Hamilton breaking his word and signing with the Angels. We didn’t low ball Zack Greinke, but we didn’t overwhelm him either. I think the front office is putting a dollar value on “your chance to play for the Texas Rangers”. After 2011, that was the pitch, after 2012, we’re the team that folded down the stretch.
But while I am not an advocate in moving Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar, it became apparent very early on that every single team we wanted to do business with us would only take one of those players to get anything done. The case for moving Andrus comes down to one thing. Scott Boras. Hey Nolan, Boras does not do business the way you do. Never has. So while we see Elvis coming into his own and becoming a superstar, down in the bottom right of the screen there is a money clock, running about as fast as the one we see that tracks the national debt. We could probably meet that price, but I don’t imagine we ever will because of our business model. Profar is the keeper, Elvis is the next A-Rod. Not in makeup, but because of the massive number Boras the rat will be after.
What we have viewed from the bleachers this winter has been an extension of what we saw with every stride to the plate in September. We got this. It’s ours. An attitude that led us right into an early exit from the post-season. All of the pundits say now is not the time to panic and I agree. But to disguise this as anything other as a step backwards in our window of opportunity is incorrect. If the guys would have taken a moment and said “we need to bear down” I am not so sure they couldn’t have righted the ship last season. To make a deal that includes Andrus for a front of the rotation starter or big production outfielder would yield the same effect.
I don’t think our whiteboard plans included a mini-youth movement in 2013. If we don’t get this done, that’s what we’ll get.