Speaking on Dallas’ KTCK Tuesday, Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks succeeded, in the words of Ken Rosenthal, “in turning David Dellucci into Nelson Mandela.” For the Dallas Morning News’ Kevin Sherrington, it’s a puzzler how the manager escapes criticism.

In one interview, Hicks (above) hit the trifecta: He threw his general manager, his best player and long-suffering Rangers fans under the bus.

He said the club didn’t have a vocal leader after Jon Daniels traded David Dellucci.

He called Michael Young a great player but added that he’s not a “captain of the clubhouse kind of guy.”

Fans? Attendance was down six figures even when Texas was in the race, a sure sign of local unrest, mostly with the manager, if you ask me. Hicks’ reply: If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s the players’.

And the manager’s culpability? Buck Showalter skates.

Hicks probably didn’t mean anything nefarious. Not his style. He got himself in trouble because he was out defending his manager, who somehow doesn’t get docked for questions of leadership.

But in Hicks’ efforts to calm the storm, he only created a bigger one, and he didn’t weather it any better Wednesday on the Rangers’ Web site.

In essence, he repeated what he told Norm Hitzges on The Ticket: He likes Michael Young. Called him the “heart and soul of the team.” Wants to sign him to an extension.

Prediction: Fat chance, unless Hicks does some serious fence-mending.

The owner shouldn’t get much credit when you hear the same praise not only from Young’s teammates but from managers and players of other clubs.

Anyone of consequence could cite Young’s value. And not just with a glove or bat.

A clubhouse culture primer: In a long baseball season, players don’t like someone in their face. They don’t respond to screamers. They also don’t like having their manhood questioned. You can criticize their performance, their pedigree, even their politics. But “mental toughness”? Put up your dukes, pal.