By Eric Reining
I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t at least a little disappointed that the Rangers only took 2 out of 3 against the Royals this past weekend;
which, you know, is a very greedy, entitled, arrogant thing to say;
but hey, those three adjectives tend to describe many Rangers’ fans pretty well in 2013.
I didn’t know it until after it happened in 2010 — or until it happened again in 2011 — that “winning” wasn’t really the same anymore;
the expectations ebbed and flowed in one direction for so long in Texas, and then the tide shifted;
now we’re here and fans have forgotten what the days of losing felt like, or they just hadn’t begun following the team until they made it to the World Series the 1st time, or 2nd.
To have stuck it out with many shitty Rangers’ teams over the years of my youth — for me personally it’s been since 1996 — and to see where the team is now is like night and day (to use a weak cliche-simile). Being from the Internet generation I became familiar with message boards at a relatively young age. I was always engaged with the thoughts of the writers who were covering the team, as well as what the fan base had to say.
And in that time, probably the last 10-12 years … What I’ve come to realize is that most Rangers’ fans are markedly softer on the team when they aren’t very good. It’s really only since they’ve become one of baseball’s elite franchises that fans are coming out of the woodwork to give their hot sports opinion on what the Rangers are doing wrong. I know I’m guilty of this as well from time to time, but it’s to do more with an individual player — or Ron Washington — than the decision-making of the front office.
And to be honest, I hate to throw the word infallible around, but that’s the first word that comes to mind when I think about Jon Daniels and his elite pack of young executives.
Randy Galloway of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram wrote an article recently with regards to trading Jurickson Profar, which included these rather blind statements:
Dang right, you trade Jurickson Profar. Find the right deal, make the deal and, with a kid this talented, pray that you get it right.
No, you don’t have to trade Profar. But be looking. Be looking hard.
For the same reason Jon Daniels is now sitting on the worst MLB trade of this decade.
Yes, the worst.
Twenty-two months ago, facing the trading deadline of July, 2011, Daniels shipped off to Baltimore a then-failed first baseman named Chris Davis and a then so-so pitcher named Tommy Hunter.
In return, the O’s gave the Texas Rangers what was expected to be much needed bullpen help, right hander Koji Uehara …
Think Miguel Cabrera of Detroit. Think Triple Crown. No, not last year when Miguel did go Triple Crown, but this season, when everyone is talking a Cabrera repeat, except as June arrives in baseball, Chris Davis is challenging and exceeding Miguel in some areas of that holy honor.
This deal is obviously a massive skid mark on Daniels’ résumé, but I haven’t noticed any media second-guessing, and the second-guessing will definitely not start today from here.
Listen, I get it. You see a player have a couple good months at the plate, and poof. ALL OF A SUDDEN HE’S A GREAT PLAYER CHALLENGING MIGUEL CABRERA FOR A HOLY HONOR.
In reality, this is the hyperbolic bullshit that makes you and your children dumber. It gives casual, uninvested fans a disillusioned sense of history. Revisionist history is what it is. On July 31st, 2011, most Rangers fans loved Chris Davis very much, yes, but they were also ready to see him leave. And Koji Uehara? That guy? He was significantly better in 2012 than he was during the stretch run of 2011, though certainly worth the expendable parts that Davis and Tommy Hunter had become in Texas.But that’s not even the worst of the article. Later, Galloway sheds this illuminating opinion:
At the moment, it’s not a World Series team. Even totally healthy it may not have been a World Series team because of the starting rotation. … Does trading Profar bring that top-shelf guy? Maybe not him alone, but he’d be the key piece … Plus, with your shortstop locked down long-term, and with your second baseman locked down long-term, it means if the Rangers aren’t moving out Elvis or Ian (highly unlikely in both cases), then Profar becomes the obvious trade candidate.
And if he’s dealt, and it becomes another Davis backfire, well…
You live with it. And move on to the next trade. That’s the way baseball go.
Just that I’m understanding this correctly, Galloway chastises Jon Daniels for making “the worst trade of the past decade,” then says we should trade Jurickson Profar, a much more talented, more valuable prospect than Chris Davis ever was. And if it doesn’t work out?
“You live with it.”
That’s the justification? Give me a fucking break. And you know damn well he would be writing the first article about how big of a mistake it was to trade Profar.
Ignore the fact that at the time Randy Galloway wrote this, the Rangers had the best record in the American League. That’s definitely not a World Series team.
Ignore the fact that the worst trade of the last decade — almost universally — was actually the Braves trading Jarrod Saltalmacchia, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones to acquire Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. AND IT WAS JON DANIELS OF THE RANGERS WHO ORCHESTRATED THE ENTIRE THING.
Again, blind. Ignorant. Stupid.
In other words: Randy Galloway.
The point to this is that criticism is necessary. That’s how we get wiser, and better at whatever we are doing. But, a lot like faith, there are two types of criticisms: Rational, and blind.
To me, taking shots at the same front office that built the organization from the ground up, is indefensible. It’s baseless. For possessing one of the best farm systems in baseball on an annual basis, for fielding one of baseball’s most magnificent products, I’m not sure I could have fathomed 5 years ago that the front office would be getting this much shit from the local and national media.
It’s poisoning how we process baseball, and it’s slapping the saviors of our favorite team squarely in the face. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of hearing about how Jon Daniels is a shitty, incompetent GM who’s in over his head —
while all his teams do is win.