Unimpressed by last night’s 14-4 drubbing of the Twins (nor, presumably, Sunday’s 14-0 defeat of the Astros), the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Jim Reeves suggests Rangers owner Tom Hicks might finally see “a real offense at work” when he travels to Athens for Liverpool’s Champions League final tomorrow, along with proposing “Jon Daniels and Ron Washington should be fired immediately..they should be Nos. 26 and 27 in line for the guillotine, right after every player on the 25-man roster loses his head.”
Tom Hicks won’t let the Rangers actually go through the painful but necessary process of actually rebuilding. The ‘R’ word is banned at The Ballpark for fear that it will scare off more fans, cutting into Hicks’ precious bottom line.
Instead, they patch their gaping holes every off-season as best they can, then talk optimistically about having the firepower to compete with the Angels and A’s in the American League West. Firepower? How did anyone ever look at this outfield and think it could be competitive?
Of course, no one expected free agent acquisition Frank Catalanotto to bring a .140 batting average off the disabled list in late May. Or that Brad Wilkerson could possibly be as bad in 2007 as he was in 2006. Or that Nelson Cruz still wouldn’t have figured it out by now. Imagine how bad things would look if the Rangers hadn’t taken a flier on Sammy Sosa.
Should all these miscalculations, along with a series of less-than-scintillating trades cost Daniels his job? It would be tough to argue that it shouldn’t but that would also sustain one of this organization’s biggest flaws, and that’s the constant change that has marked Hicks’ reign as owner. Daniels, to his credit, has tried to stress continuity. That said, if he’s still relying on the same people Hart brought with him to scout and evaluate talent, it’s well past time to make some changes.
Hicks, when he’s through dallying with his soccer team, needs to either fire Daniels right now or commit to him completely, because the next few months could easily determine the Rangers’ future for years to come.
Daniels, if he still has his job, will preside over the team’s most important draft in years next month, when the Rangers have two first round picks (Nos. 17 and 24) and five of the first 54. They absolutely must do a better job of drafting than they have in recent years. One reason that the Rangers can’t just “blow it up” and play the kids is that there are so few prospects on the horizon at Oklahoma City or Frisco.