Let’s look at the happenings of the last couple of weeks. It started with Josh Hamilton’s ridiculous statements about Ranger fans. Now we have the Dynamic Duo from Philly weighing in. Both former Rangers. I’m not sure how Nolan runs this organization. I do know this. Since he has been in place we have been getting W’s. In droves. For the first time EVER (remember I have been a fan since 1972), even with us appearing to be making an adjustment this season, there is no panic. There is no unrest. Well, no unrest unless you count the recently departed.
Cliff Lee, the guy who appeared to be all but signed on the dotted line in the 2010-11 off-season, came to the defense of Josh and now informs Ranger fans that Michael Young was under-appreciated. Really? He was rewarded with a very handsome contract in 2009. A five year contract for $80 mil. A big contract for its day. Before I tear into this, I want to state that he was Mr. Ranger. He led by example and occasional with his words. He was a player’s player. Between the lines and in the clubhouse he was a team guy. Outside those lines not so much. I will also say that when we signed Adrian Beltre, JD could have probably handled it better with MY. That said, as a fan, he came across as wicked selfish. Did he get moved around a lot? Sure he did. Did it ever come easy for us to watch from afar? Never. But I will say Young has been above reproach in his post-Ranger comments.
Teammates Again- Cliff Lee and Michael Young
(photo credit: Dallas Morning News)
Management got his back constantly with words of his pride and professionalism. As fans we see a guy getting paid a lot of money to play a game. It’s never easy watching a player in his twilight years. You know it has to be tough. But you would hope there would be some grace in how they handle it. That never came easy for Young. It was painful for me as a fan to stomach. We could all see the writing on the wall after last season, when you could see the ends didn’t justify the means for Young.
That’s the background. Here’s what we have now. Two ridiculously compensated players (Hamilton and Lee) bemoaning their time as Rangers. They all seem quite upset with our ball club Did they all play a big role in our getting to two straight World Series? Sure they did. But the verve by which they come after the team and us as fans lets me know that we must be doing something right and they really wish they could be a part of it still. How many other teams are you seeing suffer this much vitriol from its former players? Not many, if any. My answer then is simple. We must be doing something right. We have guys who do want to be there and a very simple message is being passed along. We’re not going to play the game like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Phillies. We saw the Marlins try it and burn it down in a year. The Blue Jays are up now. We’ll see. The Yankees are trying to pare down their payroll. Having one of the highest every year gets them to the post-season but is clearly not the answer.
In the meantime, we have a close knit group of guys, a lot of whom are fighting for jobs and are more than happy to be there. Yes I know we could be in a less comfortable place come July first, but I’ll take my chances. We have an ownership group with the means, but the discipline to say no. We have a GM who plays everything close to the vest and knows the weapons he has and those that he needs. We have a manager that is a veteran, but still willing to admit he has things to learn. Say what you will, bitter former Rangers, but you are the last ones to judge what a real team or organization is when you take the biggest paycheck at the end of the day.