Category Archives: Alex Rodriguez

Mid-Season Adjusted Ex-Men Rangers Roster

(View this post at the new Rangers or Robbers site

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post (which was a follow up to a series of posts in April), here’s a look at my team of recently-departed, still-active ex-Rangers, after some mid-season adjustments to the bullpen, and picking up recently made available additions to the impressive list of talented ex-Rangers (Teixeira, Lofton, Mahay & Gagne).

Lineup (with stats to date for this season: OBP/SLG/AVG):

1.  Kenny Lofton                   OF          L    (.369/.416/.296, 7hr, 25rbi, 67r, 21sb)
2.  Alfonso Soriano               LF           R    (.336/.511/.297; 18hr; 42rbi; 74r; 18sb)
3.  Carlos Lee                        RF          R    (.356/.536/.302; 24hr; 95rbi; 68r)
4.  Alex Rodriguez               SS/3B     R    (.407/.633/.300; 39hr; 114rbi; 107r; 14sb)
5.  Mark Teixeira                1B            S    (.388/.535/.291, 17hr, 61rbi, 56r)
6.  Adrian Gonzalez             DH/1B    L    (.339/.477/.265; 19hr; 68rbi; 64r)
7.  Mark DeRosa                  2B/U      R    (.363/.418/.288; 7hr; 54rbi; 40r) 
8.  Ivan Rodriguez               C             R    (.289/.426/.279; 9hr; 50rbi; 39r)
9.  Esteban German           3B/INF   R    (.372/.399/.284;   3hr;   29rbi;   36r; 8sb)
Bench
Rod Barajas                    C            R    (.343/.376/.214; 4hr; 9rbi; 15r)
Mike Lamb                     INF       L    (.375/.478/.296; 11hr; 34rbi; 40r)
Travis Hafner                DH/1B   L    (.380/.438/.254; 18hr; 70rbi; 58r)
Gary Matthews, Jr.       OF         S    (.338/.448/.275; 14hr; 65rbi; 67r, 12sb)

Starting Rotation
Chris Young                 R          (9-4; 2.02era; 119k; 44bb; 124.2ip)
Kenny Rodgers            L          (3-2; 5.23era; 17k; 12bb; 32.2ip)
Doug Davis                  L          (9-10; 3.81era; 101k; 76bb; 146.1ip)
John Danks                 L         (6-10; 5.22era; 22GS; 122.1ip; 96k; 46bb)
Adam Eaton                 R          (9-8; 6.36era; 82k; 57bb; 133ip)

Bullpen

CL:  Francisco Cordero            R          (36sv; 0-4; 3.14era; 66k; 17bb; 48.2ip)
SU:  Eric Gagne                         R          (16sv, 2-0, 3.62era, 39G, 37.1ip. 14bb, 34k)
Ron Mahay                                L          (3-0, 2.53era, 34G, 46.1ip)
Doug Brocail                              R          (4-1, 3.88era, 44G, 53.1ip)
Brian Shouse                             L          (1-1; 2.60era; 52G; 34.2ip)          
Ryan Bukvich                           R          (1-0, 2.96era, 31G, 27.1ip)
Aaron Fultz                               L          (3-2, 3.28era, 36G, 24.2ip)

Question: Could any other team put together a better 25-man roster consisting of players that have left their organization but are still playing?

The Marlins leap to mind as they’d have a great rotation of former Marlins, but just off the top of my head, I think there offense would be very weak.

Ex-Men Texas Rangers Roster

(READ THIS POST AT THE NEW HOME OF RANGERS OR ROBBERS: http://rangersorrobbers.blogspot.com)  

 

Probably the most fun I’ve had in drafting a blog post was in April when I looked at the team that could be formed using just recently departed, still active former Texas Rangers.

The point of that series of posts was to show clearly how bad the Rangers have bled talent out of their organization. To me, doing so is a clear indicator of Hicks’ terrible ownership and lack of commitment to winning.

It’s really almost magical the way Hicks and his front offices have run the Texas Rangers into the ground over the years.

Consider this magical disappearing act: Hicks managed to turn ARod into Soriano and then turn Soriano into Wilkerson (while still paying $7 million a year to the richest team in sports for ARod’s contract). That takes some real talent to in effect turn probably the most productive hitter into one of the worst!

Anyway, I thought I’d look back at the team of former Rangers I composed back in April and see how they’re doing (keep in mind that you have to grant me some dramatic license here as the salary of this team would be very unrealistic, but that’s not the point).

Lineup (with stats to date for this season: OBP/SLG/AVG):

1.  Esteban German          3B/INF   R    (.372/.399/.284;   3hr;   29rbi;   36r; 8sb)
2.  Gary Matthews, Jr.     CF          S   (.338/.448/.275; 14hr; 65rbi; 67r, 12sb)
3.  Alfonso Soriano          LF           R    (.336/.511/.297; 18hr; 42rbi; 74r; 18sb)
4.  Alex Rodriguez           SS/3B     R    (.407/.633/.300; 39hr; 114rbi; 107r; 14sb)
5.  Travis Hafner              DH/1B    L    (.380/.438/.254; 18hr; 70rbi; 58r)
6.  Carlos Lee                  RF          R    (.356/.536/.302; 24hr; 95rbi; 68r)
7.  Adrian Gonzalez          1B/DH    L    (.339/.477/.265; 19hr; 68rbi; 64r)
8.  Ivan Rodriguez            C            R    (.289/.426/.279; 9hr; 50rbi; 39r)
9.  Mark DeRosa             2B/U       R    (.363/.418/.288; 7hr; 54rbi; 40r) 

Bench
Rod Barajas                    C            R    (.343/.376/.214; 4hr; 9rbi; 15r)
Mike Lamb                     INF         L    (.375/.478/.296; 11hr; 34rbi; 40r)
David Dellucci                 OF          L    (.301/.389/.234; 4hr; 20rbi; 25r)

Starting Rotation
Kenny Rodgers            L          (3-2; 5.23era; 17k; 12bb; 32.2ip)
Chris Young                 R          (9-4; 2.02era; 119k; 44bb; 124.2ip)
Estaban Loaiza             R          Injured all season
Doug Davis                  L          (9-10; 3.81era; 101k; 76bb; 146.1ip)
Adam Eaton                 R          (9-8; 6.36era; 82k; 57bb; 133ip)

Bullpen

CL:  Francisco Cordero            R          (36sv; 0-4; 3.14era; 66k; 17bb; 48.2ip)
SU Bryan Corey                       R          Did not make an MLB roster
LR Chan Ho Park                    R          (0-1; 15.75era; 1GS)
MR Fabio Castro                     L          (12.27era; 5G; 3.2ip)
MR Darren Oliver                    L          (4.39era; 43G; 41ip; 31k; 15bb)
MR Brian Shouse                     L          (1-1; 2.60era; 52G; 34.2ip; 20k; 11bb)           
MR Aaron Sele                        R          (3-1; 4.12era; 25G; 43.2ip; 26k; 18bb)
MR Dan Kolb                          R          (9.00era; 3G; 3ip)
 

As with any team, I would have needed to make some early season adjustments.

Loaiza’s injury would have forced me to call on Danks (LHP; 6-10; 5.22era; 22GS; 122.1ip; 96k; 46bb) to fill his spot. Doug Davis’ surprising performance would be a plus. And with the offense and defense on this team, it’s safe to assume that each pitcher (maybe even Danks) would have several more wins based on their era’s. For the post-season, Young, Rogers and Davis would likely be more than enough to get the team through. 

The bullpen would have needed some major retooling, but there aren’t as many former Rangers out there to choose from for the bullpen as you might think. Nick Masset is one guy who probably would have been added to the ‘pen. Still, with Cordero closing, and Oliver, Shouse and Sele contributing, there’s a solid core to build around. 

The lineup would have been shuffled. Lamb and German would be platooning at 3B. Hafner, Lee and Gonzalez might have been shuffled around the order, and Dellucci would likely have been demoted and replaced.   

But still, wouldn’t this be some team!  

Now imagine adding in Teixeira, Gagne, Lofton and Mahay at the trade deadline!  

How many games do you think this team wins for the season? 

Alex Rodriguez Contract Extension, and Tom Hicks’ Contribution to the Yankees Future

Let’s all reminise for a moment before getting to the current ARod situation and how Hicks’ stupidity is still at the heart of it all.

scalex_rodriguez_photo.jpg

Remember when Hicks bid against himself (Boras “owned” him and Hart in those negotiations) and signed Alex Rodriguez to a contract worth 1/8th of a B2 Bomber (The contract he signed is still the most lucrative contract in sports history: a 10-year deal worth $252 million – worth $63 million more than the second-richest baseball deal.)?  Well, most Rangers fans thought that was a good thing.  Me included.

The team had won its third division title in four years in 1999.  Then the 2000 season – the first where Hicks’ ownership had any real impact on team performance since he bought the team mid-season of 1998 – was a huge, last-place letdown.  So, in the winter before the 2001 season, adding Alex Rodriguez’s future Hall of Fame bat to the order looked like we had an owner willing to spend whatever it took (as stupid as we all thought that amount of money was) to turn the team around and break through to the next level and actually win more than one playoff game.  Of course, in addition to the money, ARod was attracted to the Rangers by the Ballpark and Hicks’ promise that the size of ARod’s contract wouldn’t stop Hicks from aquiring other pieces necessary to become Champions.

Of course we know the rest.  Hicks broke his promise to fans and to ARod, and didn’t add the pitching and team depth needed to build a Championship caliber team.  Hicks would love to have us believe that it’s all Chan Ho Park’s fault, and while that underperforming multi-millionaire deserves some blame, Hicks could have thrown good money after bad to make up for the Park mistake (or just sent him packing while paying for some of his over-priced contract).

Instead, he names Alex Rodriguez the Rangers’ team captain after his 2003 MVP season (the Rangers’ fourth straight last-place finish – after 3 division titles in 4 years before Hicks’ meddling) in an attempt to appease Alex’s growing frustration with the organization and its owner.  Things unravel because – and we should just hate the guy for this – ARod wants to win (how terrible) but Hicks and Hart keep vascilating between winning and rebuilding. Finally, ARod approves a trade to the Yankees (in which Hicks absurdly agrees to pay the Yankees – they are the richest team in baseball – for a large chunck of ARod’s contract).  On his way out, ARod, in a somewhat unclassy but still understnadable way, rightly blasts the Rangers organization (his comments mostly aimed at Tom Hicks) for it’s lack of committment and quality.

Fast forward to today.

After more than a year of speculation bordering on hope from the Yankees that Alex Rodriguez would opt out of his contract at the end of this season and leave New York in free agency, the Yankees are suddenly talking about keeping ARod.  In addition to ARod’s monster first half, why the sudden urgency?  Because if they’re going to keep him, they want to put something together now – so the Rangers and Hicks remain on the hook for more than 40% of ARod’s money!

As AP sporter reporter Jim Litke reports, “Rodriguez gets a $27 million salary this year, but thanks to the shrewd deal general manager Brian Cashman cut to bring him to New York, Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks still has to kick in about $11 million of the total. As one of the tabloids noted, that means the Yankees are getting A-Rod’s services for about 60 cents on the dollar.”

To put Hicks’ stupidity in perspective, Barry Zito is only getting $10 million this year. Mark Buehrle $9.75 million. Brad Penny $7.5 million. Josh Becket $6 million. Johan Santana $12 million. Jason Schmidt $12.5 million. Roy Oswalt $13 million.

Get the point?

Hicks not only let a reigning MVP and future Hall-of-Fame hitter walk, but he also basically agreed to give up enough money to sign an Ace-caliber pitcher (or more) in the process. What if instead, Hicks had kept ARod and signed Bartolo Colon heading into 2004 (Colon signed that winter with Angels for 4 years/$51 million)? WHy in the world would you give up the best hitter in the game AND enough money to sign an ace pitcher?

So wouldn’t the Yankees be even crazier to let ARod walk now when he’s playing lights out and the Rangers are paying enough for the Yankees to sign a free agent pitcher to shore up there rotation next season?

If you agree that the Texas Rangers need a new owner, please add your voice to the petition encouraging Tom Hicks to sell the team:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/rangersfansagainsthicks/

Rangers Fans Against Hicks!

Rangers Fans Against Hicks 

Time to turn up the heat and do all we can to run Tom Hicks out of Tarrant County.  I don’t know the man.  It’s not personal.  But he’s been a terrible baseball owner.  He’s ruining my favorite team. 

The players seem to have had it with Hicks.  Michael Young seems borderline manic at the yo-yo ownership style (wouldn’t be surprised if he demands a trade in a year or two).  Tex wants out so bad he’s acting poorly.  ARod left in a huff because of broken promises Hicks made.  And this is the first season I can remember in which the team was so bad that not one of the Rangers several All-Star caliber players had enough around him to perform at a level truly deserving of an All-Star bid (Michael represented the team well – great class as always – but we all know he wouldn’t have gone if not for the one representative per team clause).

Fans are disgusted with the teams play, their horrible finishes under Hicks and ancillary issues.  The Ballpark is becoming a circus tent, even after that stupid Amerique$t bell is gone.  Now that Hicks owns FC Liverpool, I’m betting the Rangers will be the first team in American professional sports to replace the logo on their jerseys with a sponsors ad.  I can barely afford to take my son to a game while the team’s salary has plummeted despite playing in the nation’s 4th largest MSA.

The organization’s coaches can’t say so, but they must be fed up with all the coaching and related changes at every level of the organization.

The media’s finally caught on.  Not that many of them are very trustworthy, but still, every sports reporter in North Texas has or has come close to calling for Hicks’ head.  And the national media have lambasted the team, making them a national joke.

Free agents aren’t beating a path here, not even hitters who should love to play in The Ballpark.  What does that say about how players across the majors view the Rangers organization?

Rumor has it that Nolan Ryan wants to own one of the Texas team – how great would that be!

So, Tom – pack ’em up.  We’ve had it with your terrible performance.  Seriously, would you not fire someone with your track record?  Sell the team and make some money.  Keep building Glory Park if you must and keep making money from that.  But please turn most of your attention back to Dallas and try not to mess up the Stars or the Mesquite Rodeo anymore.  You can’t live off of one Stanley Cup forever, especially one won in the infancy of your ownership.  And have fun in Liverpool (FC Liverpool fans, you can have Hicks.  Write when you tire of him, and we’ll help you run him out).

For what it’s worth, this post begins a new series dedicated to uniting fans against Hicks in support of any owner more committed to building a championship caliber team than fattening his/her wallet.

If you agree that Hicks needs to go, please state so in a comment below.  If you disagree, please tell us why (and we’ll try to read without laughing).

Anyone interested, please feel free to use the (currently rudamentary but workable) logo above on your blog, Web site, e-mail, posts, etc to symbolize your support of the movement and that you are standing up as a Rangers Fan Against Hicks!

Rangers Need to Trade Mark Teixeira, but Are Hicks and Daniels Going to Miss the Boat (Again)?

Agent Zero and BigDSports share some good insights through comments to my previous post.  Maybe a Teixeira trade with Detroit won’t happen, maybe it will.  Maybe the Rangers are aiming high now to test the market value for Teixeira, but I’m more concerned that they’re not bluffing when they say they want to keep Tex.  Why in the world would the do that?

Hey, he’s one of my favorie players, and I’ll be sad to see him leave.  I’ll root for him wherever he goes.  But the reality is – he’s leaving one way or another by the 2009 season.  All indications are that last winter was the last chance the Rangers had to extend his contract.  In not doing so, the Rangers led Boras and Tex to make the right business decision to wait and play the free agent market.  It would take crazy money for the Rangers to keep them from getting there, but then again Hicks does have a unique track record for successfully bidding against himself.

In the meantime, Teixeira is the ONLY chip the Rangers have to shorten the rebuilding process by several years.  Trading Tex for young major-league-ready-to-break-out starters (but not pure prospects likely to flame out as Rangers) is the only chance Texas has to improve its starting rotation in 1-2 seasons instead of 3-5.  And, the improvements would likely be more significant in addition to being more expedient.  But Hicks and team have shown an amazing capability for missing such chances.

Despite them being two of my favorite players – the Rangers should have traded Pudge and Kenny Rogers for some arms instead of letting them walk, and they should have gotten arms instead of Soriano for Alex Rodriguez. 

It just hit me how ridiculous the logic is behind us being told that “the Yankees and Soriano were the only option for moving ARod.”  I seriously doubt there wasn’t a way to get creative and find another team willing to trade a pitcher or three – or to get an arm out of the Yankees.  With the Rangers paying almost 1/3 of ARod’s contract, some other team could have been sold on trading for ARod for a salary impact of about $17M/yr to them. The true numbers are a bit of a shell game but the Yankees are paying a 40% luxury tax on ARod’s $25M – an extra $10M more than almost any other team would have to pay.  So ARod is costing the Yanks about $27M (in addition to the approximate $7 million the Rangers are paying for ARod to play in NY).  Nobody else wonder if Boston, LAD, NYM, either Chicago team, and maybe the Giants or Astros would’ve taken the bait?  And ARod wanted out of Texas so bad he would have gladly waived his no trade for a team in contention.  NYY were top of his list, sure, but he and Boras kicked Hicks’ and Hart’s rears in negotiations coming and going.  Sad.

And we sure should have gotten more for Soriano, not to mention the idiotic Juan Gonzalez trade. 

Maybe Hicks and DanielsHart only like to screw up trade opportunities involving MVPs.

Oh… no, they even screw up deals involving bullpen guys, like Francisco Cordero.

Will they, can they learn?  Tex is leaving.  Unless they overpay for him, he’s probably going to be a Yankee in ’09.  So trade him now (meaning as soon as he’s back from the DL and proves that he’s healthy and productive) while the extra season remaining on his contract can command more value than the pure rent-a-player deals that would be available next year.

So my last post may have been a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to Detroit’s moves.  Maybe a Detroit trade will happen, maybe it won’t.  Bottom line – Hicks and DanielsHart better trade Teixeira while his value can command the pitching talent the Rangers need. 

Robbers Evidence: Breaking Down Tom Hicks’ Interview with Babe Laufenberg – Part 1: So Hicks Suspects (Actually Wishes) Juan Gonzalez Used Steroids (More)

Has Tom Hicks lost touch with reality?  Based on his comments to the European press during Liverpool FC’s run to the UEFA Champions League final, recent interview with Babe Laufenberg, and contract extension to Jon Daniels,  there’s reason to wonder.  Many reasons.  Breaking down the interview shows Hicks may be having a break down.

The entire Laufenberg interview is laden with comments from Hicks that should further infuriate every Texas Rangers fan.  I for one was so infuriated that I put off writing about it.  And I’m going to have to write about one piece at a time. 

Let’s start with Hicks’ comment about Juan Gonzalez since that’s the one that’s making all the news right now.

Babe:  “Of all the decisions you’ve made as owner of the Rangers… firing of Doug Melvin, signing of ARod, Chan Ho Park… which is the one you’d like a mulligan on in golf terms?”

Hicks:  “… (signing) Juan González for $24 million after he came off steroids – probably – uh, we just gave that money away…”.

Well, that became the focus of an Associated Press article yesterday, headlined “Hicks Suspects Gonzalez Used Steroids.”

Where to start?

First, who didn’t suspect that already?  Did you see the difference in Igor between 1989 and 1991?  You can’t add that much mass without some chemistry assistance.

So, Hicks’ “mulligan” wasn’t that he might have signed a player who used steroids, it was that Juan was off them when Hicks signed him in 2002.  If Juan had still been on them, apparently Hicks believes he would have gotten his money’s worth.  So Hicks wishes Juan had stayed on the juice.

Tempted to write off the comment as an errant slip of the tongue – a mistake anyone could make during a TV interview?

Hold that thought.

The interview was on June 10th.  According to the AP story, Hicks made the following statement to the AP via e-mail yesterday, June 20:

“I have no knowledge that Juan used steroids. His number of injuries and early retirement just makes me suspicious,” Hicks wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Wednesday. “In any event, we paid him $24 million for very few games.”

So with 10 days to consider what to say, Hicks just adds the covering-my-butt statements about “no knowledge” and being “suspicious” and then basically reiterates – as much by what he doesn’t say and how he phrases his answer which I assure you was reviewed time and again by his lawyers and PR staff – that his regret is signing a steroid-free Juan whose body fell apart when he stopped juicing.

Notice Hicks doesn’t say: “I regret signing a player who any reasonable person could suspect was or had been using performance-enhancing drugs.”  Nor does he say, “Juan’s age was a risk that didn’t work out.”  He clearly believes that Juan quitting steroids was the problem: “(signing) Juan González … after he came off steroids” is one of three “mulligans” or mistakes Hicks admits to in the interview. 

I – and any Rangers fan, really – could list a whole bunch of other mistakes that Hicks could use a “mulligan” on.  How about starting with one of the biggest:  letting 3 league MVPs leave and not getting squat for talent in return?  Or, merging the front offices of a hockey team with that of baseball team?  Or, knowing the Rangers have always needed quality starting pitching, but never going after and getting it the way you went after and got, then wasted, Alex Rodriguez’s big bat?  Or, how about the one Babe mentioned – firing Doug Melvin?  Or… oh you get the point…

Gotta go barf again…