I would be lying if I told you I had any great ideas to dish out post-Christmas (for those of you who choose to celebrate it). For the five days before and after the holiday, news typically, as it relates to the baseball world, is dormant, silent like the night before Christmas.
I guess to rehash over some moves that were recently made, the Indians and Nick Swisher did agree on a 4-year, $56 million commitment, with a 5th-year option that could drive the total value of the contract to $70 million. As I’ve stated, $14 million/year is relatively cheap for Swisher, given that he’s been a consistent 3.5-4.0 fWAR player over the last several seasons, meaning if each Win Above Replacement is valued at $5 million, he’s really only going to need to generate a shade under 3.0 WAR over the next four years to justify the deal. It’s a minor steal for the Indians, and although I’ve relayed numerous times the impact I believe he would have had in our lineup, apparently the interest was never there on the Rangers’ end.
Also hitting the wire — I believe on the 24th — RHP Joel Hanrahan was traded from Pittsburgh to the Red Sox for a minor package. I only mention this because there were rumors, at least over the last 10 days, that Texas was interested in acquiring the veteran. With Hanrahan in the fold, Boston now finds themselves with one of the more imposing bullpens in all of baseball, a backend featuring Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard, Koji Uehara, and the aforementioned former Pirate closer.
Well, that’s the news, and I hear the weather sucks almost everywhere, so let’s move on, shall we?
In the season of giving, receiving, loving, caring, I’m flummoxed by the lack of Rangers’ offseason activity as much as my belief that this phenomena was expected the entire time. Featuring a front office filled by a cabinet of veritable wizards, the slow, calm pace of their tacticians — in a sense — is more dangerous than the conventional, reactionary ways so many franchises operate by. After Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton signed for more money than Rangers’ brass was comfortable giving, natural instincts dictate that they should have countered with something headline-grabbing of their own. They didn’t.
Whether it be pain, loss, anger or frustration, the impulses in your brain begin to churn more rapidly, more drastically, and it’s at that point where logic and reason are lost. Us as fans cannot lose sight of that, for when we fail to be objective we succumb to the same mistake.
I assume that’s why I love baseball so much. It’s not only an accurate metaphor for life, but it provides a momentary escape from it. Its literal meaning is analogous to what’s found under the surface. Its beauty rests not only in all that can be quantified behind the scenes, in the metrics, but also what can’t be seen on Fangraphs — the intangibles.
It’s such a tightly-nit layering of whichever black versus white combinations you want to make out of it, but at the end of the day, it’s just 9 guys on one team playing 9 other guys on another team.
It’s everything, which also means it’s nothing.