A week ago, in a post that included some venting about my frustrations with WordPress, I wrote about the Upside of Failing Fast:
“At least they’re collapsing in May so Hicks, Cogen and DanielsHart can’t string us out until the usual Rangers August-September fade out. One lesson about risk taking, is that if you’re going to fail, fail fast. The Rangers have almost always dragged us through a gradual failing. Failing fast could be the best thing this team has done in years. It would make Little Jon DanielsHart a seller around the deadline (not that he’s kept a lot to sell – except Tex, but more on that later), and prevent him and Hicks from making some stupid deal that costs us dearly in the long-term just to keep the Rangers close enough that they can keep selling more tickets. And then the young guys can play. ”
(Hey – if “journalists” can quote themselves sometimes, why can’t I?”)
As the Rangers went 3-3 since that post, I thought more about the concept. And I found myself worried that they were winning.
Let me explain.
What would the Rangers possibly gain from playing .500 or slightly better ball the rest of the season? They’re just not good enough, not to mention healthy enough, to make up a 9.5 game deficit against the Angels who apparently OWN them this season (remember Hicks views the Angels as “our partners”). And if they win just enough to keep us – and Hicks and DanielsHart – hoping against hope, we risk seeing management make some hare-brained trade to try to win now at the expense of the long-term picture/pitching and the further erosion of talent from the system (see previous posts about the could/should-be team comprised of recent ex-Rangers).
Even Dale Hanson got it right on the radio yesterday when he compared the Rangers recent history to that of the Cowboys – where management continues to make moves thinking they can contend now at the expense of longer-term success.
As a 27-year fan of the Texas Rangers, I can wait another year or two for someone to finally put together an organization that is built to win a championship. And maybe, just maybe, failing fast will be enough for Hicks and DanielsHart to do some things differently now that will help the team in the long term.
AND, in the meantime (if Hicks and DanielsHart are serious about stability), it gives new manager Ron Washington the time to develop the young talent we do have while gearing up our core guys (e.g. Young and Kinsler, and… well, that may be it) for a serious run at championship-caliper baseball from ’08-2010. It can be done – just look at Detroit (more on that another time…).
So let the young guys get their at bats and throw their innings. Let’s see if McCarthy, Tejeda, Loe or Rupe can be winning starters in the major leagues. Let’s see if Cruz, Botts and so on really do have the stuff to have long prolific careers ahead of them.
And, like the Cowboys in 1989, let’s have our 1-15 season so we can build for the future and turn things around in big way! The Cowboys starting seeing real improvement by the end of 1990, made the playoffs in ’91 and won the first of three-out-four Super Bowls in 1992.
There are significant differences in how to build a winning football versus baseball organization, but the long-term focus is needed in Arlington. And with that in mind, let’s root for the real winning to start taking root late this summer giving the Rangers momentum into next year and beyond.