Jun 6, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Michael Kirkman (left) reacts to giving up a walk off home run to Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (not pictured) to defeat the Texas Rangers 6-3 at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Definition of Insanity


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Or in the Rangers case, running the same terrible pitcher out there and expecting different results. The Rangers went into the ninth inning of last nights game in a 3-3 tie, but every human being who has ever even heard of baseball knew the game was over when the name “Michael Kirkman” was announced to pitch the inning for the Rangers. That is, every human being except Ron Washington. From time to time, Washington makes some questionable bull pen decisions, but none as questionable as the one he pulled off last night.

When asked why Kirkman was taking so much flak from Rangers fans lately (prior to last nights game) on The Hague Sports Podcast, Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest said “well, have you seen the numbers? Statistically, he’s the worst reliever in the American League! He’s been dreadful. I mean, he’s not getting left handers out, he’s not getting right handers out, it was crazy when we talked to Wash last week about him, he said ‘his stuff is there, he’s just been unlucky’. How is that unlucky? If you throw hard, you throw straight, and you throw it down the middle, that’s great! If your a hitter.”

Andro is right. Why, in that situation in Boston you would put in the worst reliever in the American League is beyond me. Now, I am a giant Rangers apologist, I will admit that before I go on, but Kirkman has to go. He has no redeemable quality left as a reliever.

Lets look at some numbers on Kirkman. He is posting an ERA of 8.18. In 22 innings, he had allowed 36 hits and 20 runs, ALL EARNED. He has walked another 15, only 4 were intentional. His RAA is -10, his WAA is -1.1, his WAR is -0.0, his RAR is -8, and he is allowing nearly 8.2 runs per nine innings pitched. In other words, he is downright awful.

The Rangers still hold the division lead by 0.5 games. When the lead is that slim, you need to put your best foot forward as a team, and not throw the worst reliever in the AL out there. He is our version on the Astros former pitcher Phillip Humber. Yes, former! Even the Astros know when to get rid of a guy! Since the Rangers have been to the post season in three straight seasons, we as fans expect more from them, like an actual attempt to win each and every game.

So I am not giving Ron Washington a pass on last nights game. It is unacceptable to put Kirkman in last nights game, and it is unacceptable to have him on this roster anymore. He is a failed experiment, he cannot get his head right at the major league level. It is time for the Rangers to cut their losses. This team is better than that and this fan base deserves better than that.

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Tags: American League Michael Kirkman Rangers Red Sox

  • Teddynelson

    Well if that wasn’t a huge disappointment. I’ve tried and tried to like Wash but he consistently lets me down. Yes, he will have more wins than any other manager, but look at the team JD and Co put together for him. A monkey with a hat could have made the playoffs last year with that squad.

    But hey, maybe Gonzalez can come up in July and replace ole Kirkman. It can’t get much worse…

    • Andy

      Hopefully Soria will be healthy by then. If he is, he should provide a lot of help.

  • Andy

    You can definitely argue that Kirkman has been unlucky. His FIP is half his ERA. But at some point you have to pay attention to the luck, because some people just don’t regress toward their peripheral numbers. Kirkman might be one such pitcher.

    On the other side of the luck spectrum, you have Jered Weaver, who has outperformed his peripherals for a few years now. People who swear by BABIP and FIP have insisted he’s going to come back down to earth at some point. And maybe he will now, but for more than 2 seasons he didn’t. Maybe he was just really really good at inducing easy-to-catch fly balls.

    Now, back to Kirkman. Wash doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who relies on stats like FIP, but he does seem to be spouting the same conclusion as would be touted by someone who does believe in it – that he will regress toward his FIP. But he might be the guy that just doesn’t, and for some reason just has “bad luck” on a regular basis, whether it’s leaving too many pitches over the plate or throwing the pitch that the hitter is sitting on, it doesn’t matter.

    I’ve seen enough, too. If I see him in a game where it’s even remotely close (fewer than 5-6 runs either way) I’ll assume Wash doesn’t really care that much about the game. It would take a long time for me to feel any better about Kirkman pitching for us, and hopefully by that time he’ll be replaced by someone who is better or, at least, isn’t so unlucky.

  • Martin B.

    The fan base doesnt deserve anything. Thats just a self entitled point of view. Kirkman has no more options and he was lights out in spring training. He earned his spot. Anyways I don’t think any of us really expected kirkman to hold a bullpen spot by the time Feliz and Soria return. Kirkman isnt a failed experiment, hes just a guy who really doesnt have a future with the Rangers and the team is trying to get the most out of him before hes gone for good.