Here we go. Now we are moving, and rapidly, in the right direction. This is the way it should be. This is the way it will be into October and beyond.
The baseball blame game has descended upon Arlington.
Once the national precincts — respected national precincts, that is — started weighing in with opinions this week, that’s when the blame game lid officially became pried open.
Locally, however, it’s been a little quiet. Strangely quiet, media-wise. As my man, Radio Boy, always chides me, the local media goes soft on the Texas Rangers as opposed to the Cowboys and the Mavericks.
Got to admit if the Cowboys (Hello, Jerry) or the Mavericks (Hello, Cuban) had back-to-back seasonal closing acts compared to the current situation with the Rangers, there would be a local media meltdown.
Well, actually, the Cowboys have had the same kind of seasonal closing acts, and, yes, there was a local media meltdown.
Last September, the Rangers’ blame game was easy. We had Josh.
This time, it becomes more personal.
Ron Washington or Jon Daniels?
I’d throw ownership in there, also. Plus, every player on the team.
But it really comes down to the manager or the newly anointed baseball god.
Wash or J.D.?
Take your blame-game pick, and stand your ground.
Speaking of respected national voices, I did like the approach of Fox’s Ken Rosenthal this week. Because of the current state of the Rangers, he was forecasting another immense power play breaking out in the front office/ownership ranks.
But on that front, also keep an ear and an eye out for some of these national baseball voices.
For example, there’s this one guy, who gets time on the MLB Network, plus writes for a website, who is a known hooker for general managers and agents.
Last Thursday, he said on TV if the September dive continued, Washington could be fired. In considering this source, linking it to an agent talking to the Rangers’ front office, or someone in the local front office, was the first option, because of the reputation of this guy.
The answer to Hooker Boy came the next day in this column.
It read: “Blame Game No. 1. Fire Jon Daniels. I’m trumping anyone who says fire Ron Washington by saying fire Jon Daniels first.”
And the local geeks soiled their underwear. So did the nationally known hooker for GMs and agents.
But the opinion still stands.
Daniels, obviously, will not be fired. But for his pitiful job this season, he deserves to go before Washington.
Not all agree, of course.
A friend on the other paper wrote this week “how anyone can think Washington’s job is not on the line is beyond me ...”
Blame game. I like it.
As a strong Daniels backer, he also added that “a team that was in first place after 130 games battling Detroit and Boston for the AL’s best record was not poorly constructed.”
OK. It’s an opinion.
Here’s another one: When the Rangers were in first place in August, 23 games over .500, that’s why Washington was a strong candidate for manager of the year.
Daniels had originally put a lineup on the field that centered around Lance Berkman as the No. 3 hitter. His fallback plan if Berkman could not hold up, health-wise, was Jurickson Profar to the rescue.
Well, we know that story.
The mismanagement of Profar this season by Daniels is a baseball felony. The kid was not close to being ready. And now his trade value has been greatly reduced.
The manager had to go grab-bag with his batting order from June on, and then it got worse when Nellie Cruz departed.
Then again, Washington has had a bad week, for sure. If you’ve been watching, you know. Calling for a bunt from hot-hitting Elvis Andrus in Monday’s loss to Tampa caused me to scream. But I hate the bunt anyway.
Little Joe Ortiz pitching in Wednesday’s extra-inning loss was stupid.
But in the big picture, is it Daniels or Washington in the blame game?
I eagerly await the off-season, await the overhaul game plan, and wonder exactly what the Rangers can add, bat-wise and pitching-wise. Who is there to trade? Free agency? Who is there to add?
One bat coming back next season belongs to, yes, Nellie Cruz. That has to be a definite.
Actually, Nellie will be first player ever suspended for PEDs and lost for the final 50 games of the season, but despite that disgrace, also be voted the team’s MVP.
Sure, he’s the MVP.
Look at what happened without Nellie in the order. Look at that batting order without Nellie in August and tell me exactly how the Rangers kept winning.
Then give the manager his credit.
In September, the winning stopped. But the best thing about 162 games is the flawed team is almost always the club that crashes. This was a flawed team. That’s on Daniels.
Ah, yes. the Rangers’ blame game. As of this week, it’s alive and well. Keep it coming.