While on the way to a hundred-something losses this season, the Rangers have given us some funny stuff, including ha-ha funny, but also ha-ha stupid and ha-ha ironic.
This morning we will concentrate on all three areas. The funny, the stupid and the ironic of our 2014 baseball season.
Some of what follows below happened five months ago in one case, and more than a month ago in another, but I guess it still qualifies as breaking news because I haven’t read it or heard it anywhere else.
If it has been reported previously, then my apologies.
BREAKING NEWS: “Ray Davis buys Nolan Ryan’s house in Fort Worth.”
It’s true. It’s funny.
The same billionaire Rangers owner who teamed up with Jon Daniels to back-stab Nolan right out of Arlington, that same owner is now living in Ruth and Nolan’s former Westworth Village house on a part-time basis.
Davis paid $902,000 for the digs.
You are thinking what I originally thought, that Davis buying Nolan’s house was part of Ryan’s departure settlement with the Rangers.
No, not true. It had nothing to do with it.
Davis has daughters living in Fort Worth, and the house was purchased through a realtor, with no objection from Ryan, for a being-close-to-the-family situation.
My friend Ben says he heard once the sale was complete, Davis walked into an empty house and found only one leftover item. A pair of cowboy boots in the closet.
The obvious message with the boots was “Let’s see if you can fill these shoes, big boy.”
I’m told that boots story is not true, but it’s too good to totally reject.
Davis ran off Nolan Ryan and then took over Ryan’s job with the Rangers. We know the man has plenty of gall. But buying Nolan’s house? That’s cheesy.
The only problem here is we could always blame Davis for being from Dallas (even though he actually lives most of the time in Sherman).
Now we have to call him “Fort Worth’s Ray Davis.”
That’s a Chamber of Commerce nightmare.
BREAKING NEWS: “Jon Daniels speaks; loses team.”
It’s true. It’s ha-ha stupid.
After the All-Star break, the Rangers began the second half of this season on the road in Toronto.
In a highly unusual move for any general manager, Daniels decided he needed to speak to the team before that first game back. Everyone was warned not to say anything about the speech.
Based, however, on numerous reports, it wasn’t exactly a from-the-heart verbal moment in the clubhouse. Reading notes off a legal pad, Daniels stumbled through his points.
Among other things, Adrian Beltre was criticized for not being “serious” enough.
Colby Lewis was criticized for not “throwing at” the Tigers’ Ian Kinsler on the at-bat after Kinsler gave the “dugout wave” to the Rangers to start a home-run trot.
Beltre and Lewis are the Rangers’ most respected players among teammates, coaching staff and the manager.
Again, based on numerous reports, Daniels’ “speech” was greeted with a clubhouse full of hard stares. Angry internal words followed after Daniels left the clubhouse.
Some of Daniels’ local media pals were suggesting after the All-Star break that manager Ron Washington could be fired if he “lost” the team in the second half.
The Rangers, of course, were not going to quit on Wash. And the team hasn’t.
But whatever the amount of respect Daniels might have had in the clubhouse, he flushed it that day in Toronto.
OK, that wraps up the breaking-news segment for this morning.
But in other ha-ha, stupid and ironic moments for this season, here are a few items:• Back in May, it was confidential news in the Rangers’ front office that Bob and Ray, the two big-money guys in the team’s ownership group, were suddenly not speaking.
But we are nearing September, and apparently there has still not been a thaw in the relationship, although it’s unclear how severe the split has become.
Bob Simpson of Fort Worth was certainly on board publicly with demoting Ryan and giving Daniels all the baseball power, and obviously, Davis was the mastermind behind the Nolan hatchet job.
Is Simpson now simply being honest enough with himself to admit a big mistake happened?
Whatever, Neil Leibman of Houston, listed as the third most powerful owner of the team, has served as a go-between for Davis and Simpson, with messages from both men delivered through Leibman.
Dang shame, huh, that these two “Fort Worth guys” aren’t getting along.• Josh Hamilton was in Arlington last weekend with “faraway eyes” and a futile swing.
The immediate reaction was thank gawd the Rangers didn’t re-sign Josh.
But for anyone wanting to thank Daniels, please review your notes from two years ago.
The guy to thank, from a Rangers standpoint, is Arte Moreno, owner of the Angels.
Remember, Josh was entering free agency as Bob-Ray-Jon were running Nolan out of town.
At the end of that season I used a quote, off the record, from a Rangers official who said, “I wouldn’t want him back if he’d play for free.”
Daniels told me he was livid about that quote. He said he’d fire the guy who said it. And even if it was “his boss,” meaning Nolan, it was a “stupid comment.”
Well, it was Nolan who said it. He was totally against a big-money, long-term contract for Josh.
But within a month, Ryan started to get the hint his days here were numbered.
Meanwhile, Josh was playing the money market, and he found his gold mine with the Angels, who offered five years, $125 million.
No way the Rangers would go that high, but Daniels was willing to be competitive at maybe close to $100 mil. Jon wanted Josh back.
Also remember that Daniels was very angry when Hamilton’s agent reneged on a promise to “get back” to Daniels with a money total before Josh signed anything. The agent never called, and the Rangers got the news on the internet that Josh was an Angel.
Between Hamilton’s injuries and his blank stare in the two years since then, the obvious answer is the Rangers escaped a huge financial hit.
But the thanks goes to Mr. Moreno in Anaheim.
Leave a message for Randy Galloway at 817-390-7697.