The Big Mac Blog

Mac’s Mailbag: Rangers fans still love Nolan Ryan

Former Rangers president Nolan Ryan, left, with general manager Jon Daniels in 2012. Ryan is now with the Astros organization, which could move its Triple A affiliate to Round Rock.
Former Rangers president Nolan Ryan, left, with general manager Jon Daniels in 2012. Ryan is now with the Astros organization, which could move its Triple A affiliate to Round Rock. Star-Telegram archives

After a dispiriting three-game series sweep by the Houston Astros, the fate of the 2017 Texas Rangers will not include a third consecutive American League West championship banner.

The Rangers are 26-31, and only 15 games behind the Astros for first place in the division.

My preseason prediction for the Rangers was 85-77 and a flirt with the wild card. I was sober when making said prediction. To hit my mark the team will have to go 59-46 the rest of the way. They’re going to need Kevin Durant to pull that off.

To whom deserves the blame? The same person who deserved the credit for building two AL West titles, the general manager Jon Daniels.

My assertion is that while JD doesn’t necessarily need former team president Nolan Ryan to hold his hand, he needs someone to debate him and to tell him no. I wrote as much, and the response was varied.

Here we are however many years since Nolan was evicted from Arlington the Team JD and Team Nolan rage continues. The reaction I received on Twitter was mostly pro JD/you’re an idiot whereas via email and Facebook was split.

“Thanks for your article contrasting the championship teams under Nolan vs the Rangers team we have now. I'm not a baseball guru, I just watch it (season tics since 1974). My objection stems from my realization it does not have to be as it is now. I am also fortunate to see many Cardinals games. They are always contenders, and the Rangers just aren’t. Cardinals look very different, with guys whose names I don't know, but I will know their names at season end. I believe in the Nolan days the Rangers were contenders. But they let that slip away, and now I view their product as mediocre at best. I sit there often to watch other teams talent. That's just sad for me. The Cardinals play in an open air stadium, and come close to filling it every night, even in the heat. A new stadium fixes nothing.

“I just wish the Rangers would put a great team on the field and trust fans to support it. I feel like the Rangers are broken, and they are blaming the fans.

“Love what you write.

— Dwight

“Mac, great start today on the state of the Rangers. The state of the franchise is in the worse shape in over a decade based on the moves of the current GM/President Jon Daniels. He has built a team not capable of competing for titles and the farm is EMPTY. The future is scary because he doesn't have the guts or baseball smarts to start the rebuild today. He just DFA'd a guy that saved 38 last year. Yes, Dyson was hurting the team almost every outing but do you believe the prior 4 years or this two months.

“Scouting Dept. that he built has draft failures too numerous to list in this email Odubel Herrera left unprotected in Rule 5 draft, made All Star game last year for Philly The two Cubs trades for Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster are a disaster. Outside of Cliff Lee and Hamels, the deadline deals have been horrible and he gave up a huge premium to get Hamels.

“2016 deadline deals: Beltran - gave up (3) prospects including the overall #4 pick from prior draft. Lucroy - absolutely horrendous trade for a slightly above average player

“Yovanni Gallardo deal - gave up Knebel who is now closing for Milwaukee.

“2017: Holland release and signed Cashner and Ross for more $$. Kozma and Hoying on roster and playing regularly - career AAA players Michael Young for GM !!!!”

— Brent

“Glad someone in the local media puts some blame and pressure on the current Texas Rangers General Manager. After the 2011 Game 6 ‘take it to their F'in grave’ loss they have gone off course. Nolan Ryan knew the only way the Rangers can get solid pitching is through developing their own

“Yes the Choo signing is ridiculous but the development train started to go off track with the Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster trades.”

— Jim

“You hit the nail on the head this morning-Star Telegram. Thanks for covering this. Much needed.”

— Wesley

“The Rangers have to win 60 more games to get to or exceed your prediction of 85. That won happen with the sad state of their pitchers and a few hitters who need to go to AAA. They have no ace on this staff. Their 2/3/4 pitchers are at best average. They can't rely on middle or late innings pitchers and then you get to their hitters, All I can say is their inconsistent at best. They may win the race to have more hitters strike out then get hits. They are a mess right now and I don't see them even making the playoffs as a wild card.

“Sad year as 1/3 rd of it is over and we are below .500. Hamels may come back strong but he isn’t what he has been in the past. How can an organization have so many average pitchers and hitters an pay them those high salaries. Don’t know what changes need to be made with players or coaches but changes need to be made.

“Thanks for all your great articles.”

— Frank.

“Good job Engel on today’s article on The Rangers, Daniels, Houston and the Astros. Spot on with ‘since Nolan was kicked out of the club in Arlington.’ People forget that. Nolan was kicked out and stabbed in the back by a scum bag named Daniels.

“Daniels got what he wanted and now is paying the price. When you stab a legend and a native Texan in the back you get what you deserve. A team with the 7th highest payroll and a losing record. As long as Nolan is in Houston and Daniels is in Arlington the AL west goes through Houston.

“My hero Randy Galloway wasn't afraid to report it as he saw it and called out what needed to be called out. I am really enjoying a reporter named Mac Engel doing the same. Don't forget To incorporate Randy's dry humor like "nine toed Deon" "Eldorado Owens" and so many others. Good job.”

— Tom

“You’re amazing. Perhaps the finest person I’ve ever known. Just incredible. An inspiration to myself and the children of the world. Where can I send you $650,000?”

- Anonymous

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

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