People keep asking: What’s wrong with the Texas Rangers?
At the moment, it’s an easy answer.
Everything is wrong with the Rangers.
Bats. Rotation. Bullpen. Gloves. PEDs. Did I mention bats?
You are really missed, Nellie. Stay clean next time.
Even the beloved Arlington ballpark has turned on the Rangers. The blast furnace and the jet stream are no longer friendly forces of nature.
But here comes a weekend series against the A’s, and with the Rangers having lost four straight series, including the latest disaster of being swept by the Pirates in Arlington, a full-blown collapse warning has been issued in local precincts.
Oakland can close out the AL West race this weekend. Over and out. An A’s sweep, and possibly even an A’s series win, would send everyone into wild-card mode. But even a wild-card consolation is no longer a guarantee, not with next week’s road trip to Tampa and KC coming up.
The Rangers can’t beat teams outside the division. Well, not since June, anyway.
So what’s wrong here?
I have a theory.
This is an over-rested team.
(Sometimes I even crack up myself, but mainly it’s just another jab from here at those idiots who blamed last September’s collapse on a “tired” club.)
And what about Adrian Beltre, and his now meager bat?
I have a theory.
Bench him now. Take one of the best ballplayers ever here, and send his butt straight to the bench.
Replace him at third base with Jurickson Profar. ProPro can save us, right?
(Cracking up myself again. But really, I like this kid, ProPro. Gonna be a good — emphasis on good, not great — player at some point. Say, the 2015 season. I just don’t like the fools who rushed ProPro into savior mode, starting last season. He ain’t Mike Trout, got it?)
Is it too early for the blame game?
Yes, but that’s never stopped us before.
Let’s call the following a preliminary blame game while waiting to see how the weekend shakes out:
•Blame Game No. 1.
Jon Daniels, general manager and overall Arlington baseball god as of last November.
Fire him. I’m trumping anyone here who says fire Ron Washington by saying fire Daniels first.
Everything Daniels has touched since November has turned to crap. Well, except A.J. Pierzynski, and it now appears Yu Darvish doesn’t want to pitch to A.J. anymore.
Remember when Koji Uehara couldn’t wait to bolt the Rangers after last season? It was something about Koji not exactly being a fan of his countryman, Mr. Darvish. Something about Yu being “a diva.”
Koji is now the star closer for the suddenly mighty Red Sox. Shock me on that one, but, yes, Koji is a star closer. But, hmmmm, are we seeing the “diva” come out in the struggling-to-win-a-game Darvish?
Losing Nellie Cruz, as we know now, has killed this batting order. That’s not Daniels’ fault, but it’s not like Daniels didn’t know Nellie could be taking the PED fall. He knew it in late January.
As much we all liked the late Daniels additions of Matt Garza and Alex Rios, well, Garza has been a massive disappointment, and Rios, he’s been about what he’s always been. Not a difference-maker in the order, but a contributor.
The Rangers need a Napoli (speaking of another ex-Ranger in Boston), they need a JoshHam of a couple of years ago, they need what Michael Young once was here, and, obviously, they need a Nellie.
Difference-makers. Right now, there’s one bat that fits that category. It’s Beltre, who unfortunately has slumped of late.
•Blame Game No. 2.
The team owners for that stupid off-season rearranging of the hierarchy at the ballpark. Told you, Bob, it was a bad move. And Ray, you weren’t listening, except to the wrong people, right?
Hey, guys. You, Bob. You, Ray. My advice, from now on, just write the damn checks and otherwise, stay the hell out of the baseball business. This franchise was working the way it was. This ain’t working the way it was.
•Blame Game No. 3.
No, he hasn’t had a great year, and, yes, he’s the manager, so when things go wrong, the manager has to take the blame.
But RonWash has still had a much better year than Daniels or the team owners.
•Blame Game No. 4.
Hey, man, this winter, go Nolan Bleeping Ryan on some of those people involved with this ballclub. It’s long overdue. Just do it. Ninety-eight percent of the club’s employees, including players, will love you for it.
•Blame Game No. 5.
Actually, this could be No. 1. But we beat on that dead horse last year while Daniels skated.
The blame game, preliminary at the moment, starts at the top this time.