Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
I contemplated writing an article breaking down the September collapse and trying to assign blame to players, coaches or front office guys but it is not worth it. The end of the season hurt. It was too painful. It is time to let it go and move on. Why wallow in a painful season? I do not blame Rangers fans for expecting more. This is a great team and a great franchise.
That being said it is not time to panic. So we have had a rough couple years. 2010 and 2011 were the kind of magical years that are impossible to follow up. Making the World Series is difficult and we need to appreciate that as fans. Indeed, I see a lot of Rangers fans and writers dismissing the Rangers. Go read on any other AL West team’s fan site and you see people writing Texas off as a third or fourth place team in the West going forward. I think it is obvious that the A’s deserve to be viewed as the cream of this division’s crop but Texas is every bit as good and better than Los Angeles and Seattle today and they will be just as good or better by the end of spring training in 2014. So with no further ado, let’s take stock of where Texas stands today as organization. Today we will start with part one of this series.
Texas has one of the three or four front offices in all of the majors. I know why people are lashing out at the front office because of the last two year’s meltdowns but Jon Daniels and his staff are one of the best front offices around. They not only have put one of the best teams in the majors on the field for the last four years they have put this team in a position to be good for a long time with young talent and a solid farm system.
Managers and Coaches
I think Ron Washington is a sub-par manager. He’s basically worthless as a tactician. If he brings anything to this organization it must be the kind of intangible, feel good things I can neither defend or attack. The team has recently let go of both Dave Anderson and Jackie Moore. I am not qualified to judge their competence but neither loss bothers me. The real value among the Ranger’s coaching staff lies in our pitching coach Mike Maddux. It appears we will not lose him to Chicago. I do not love Dave Magadan but I cannot tell if he is a positive or negative for the team. Compared to past hitting coaches, who may or may not be guiding a yellow and black team whose name I have forgotten, he is nothing special but based on what he has to work with I will argue that the jury is out. Neither will I pretend to be able to evaluate any specific minor league or development staff but as a whole I believe they are quite good.
The Rangers farm system is consistently ranked in the top five by anybody who ranks such things. We have bucket loads of raw talent in the minor leagues. If I have any concern about Rangers’ prospects it is that none of them look ready to contribute to the major league team directly any time soon. If there is a potential difference maker in our system that is closer than two years away from being ready I do not know who they are. At least for 2014, and probably for 2015, the Ranger’s major league will not add any major players via call ups. Maybe a Robinson Chirinos or Chris McGuiness shocks me and develops overnight but none of the big prospects in our system look ready to contribute next year or the year after.