Category Archives: Robbers Evidence

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.

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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/

Sign the Petition for Tom Hicks to Sell the Texas Rangers

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

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

Robbers Evidence: Bye Bye Buehrle

In several previous posts, I’ve mentioned how Mark Buerhle could have already been a Ranger(https://rangersorrobbers.wordpress.com/2007/04/19/robbers-evidence-exhibit-a-revisited-no-buerhle-no-no/) and should be the free agent pitcher the Rangers sign this winter (https://rangersorrobbers.wordpress.com/2007/06/27/announcing-the-2008-texas-rangers-25-man-roster-2/).

Well, all that’s a pipe dream now as the White Sox resigned Mark Buehrle to a 4-year, $54 million contract

That narrows the field of starting pitchers the Rangers should consider signing this winter (Buehrle topped my list, and I think only Carlos Zambrano could be argued to be a better signing amongst the would-be class of winter free agents).

And without a single starter with a winning record or an ERA under 5.30 going into this week’s All-Star break, a shrinking free=agent pool increases the pressure on Ron Washington and pitching coach Mark Connor to develop at least one (if not two) of the young or trying-to-comeback Rangers pitchers into a contributing starter who can win more games than he loses (in order of liklihood at present:  Loe, McCarthy, Wright, Tejeda, Hurley, Wood, Koronka, Rheinecker, Rupe).  It also makes the return to form of Millwood and Padilla more important, because the caliber of free-agent starter the Rangers can sign this winter just went down unless they ink Zambrano, which I don’t think is likely nor do I think he’d be worth the price as he’s not a great fit for the Rangers or The Ballpark.  That probably means Millwood will be the Opening Day starter again, and he’s really a #2 at best.  Finally, it puts more importance on Jon DanielsHart and Hicks getting a trade done (and done well) with Teixeira – as Tex is the only chip they have left to acquire a pitcher with top-of-the-rotation talent (Chad Billingsly is looking really nice at this point – maybe too nice for the Dodgers to part with after going 1-0 in 2 July starts with a 2.25 era and 14 Ks in 12 IP). 

So congratulations to Buehrle and the White Sox, and to Tom Hicks, the Rangers front office and coaching staff and their pitchers aspiring to be worth a spot in a competitive major league rotation:  TIME TO GET ROLLING!

Relaford? What? Are We Trying to Pump Up His Trade Value? Where’s Botts?

Why in the world are the Rangers giving major league at bats to Desi Relaford? Desi was delegated to the minors after ’05.  His MLB AVG hasn’t seen the sunny side of .250 but three times in his career. Why in the world is he playing for the Rangers in Kinsler’s absence?

Why not stick Catalonotto or Hairston at 2B for couple weeks and finally get Botts up here? 

Has Jason Botts broken some laws or pissed off Jon Daniels in some way we’re unaware of? He’s hitting .320 with a .970 OPS and a 15-game hitting streak for the AAA Oklahoma Red Hawks while leading the Pacific Coast League in doubles.  What more can he do at that level?  What don’t we know that is keeping him in Oklahoma?

Meanwhile, Relaford was only hitting .257 with 2 stolen bases in 63 games for the Red Hawks.  Relaford may be the only remaining, healthy guy in the Rangers’ organization whose defensive play is close to MLB caliber at 2B, but team defense should be the last worry of a team that needs to rebuild.  Meanwhile, if say, Cat were able to show that he still has a little something at 2B, doesn’t his trade value go up as a solid utility man for a contender?

This is a scary sign that the Rangers front office is actually trying to win instead of develop players… unless Little Jon DanielsHart thinks some team in contention is looking for a career .244 hitter as that final piece that will put them into the World Series.

Robbers Evidence: Texas Rangers’ Midseason Report – The Best Season Since 1999!

With 81 games played and 81 to go, 2007 has been the best season for the Rangers since 1999.

“What?” you might ask.

Since 1999, the first full season of Tom Hicks’ ownership, the Rangers organization has been out of touch with reality. Every year under Hicks’ ownership and John Hart or Jon Daniels’ general management, the front office has acted as though the team was only one or two players away from returning the organization’s pinnacle era of late 90’s success under Doug Melvin and Johnny Oates. In the process they’ve robbed Rangers fans of having anything worth getting too excited about.

Despite four straight last place finishes followed by three consecutive 3rd place seasons in the least competitive division in baseball over the same time period, the Rangers kept bleeding talent out of the organization through short-sighted trades intended to help the club “win now” (or at least “sell tickets now”). But most rational people could see that the Rangers have been far from one or two players away from contending for, much less winning, a championship for the past seven season (and in reality, they’ve probably never been that close because of the consistent lack of pitching necessary to win in the playoffs – even when they did make the post-season). Continued through last season’s Carlos Lee trade, the delusional management approach – also fueled by Hick’s top priority of making money which has translated into trades to keep fans hopeful and buying tickets later into the season – has turned the Rangers into a joke.

By opening the season getting swept by the Angels and not seeing .500 since April 14th, reality has slapped all of Rangerdom in the face. Despite recent comments (which better just be posturing for trade negotiations) that he likes the way the Rangers are playing right now (which is certainly better but far from the performance of a contender), Tom Hicks and Jon Daniels will have to be “sellers” during this month’s pre-trade-deadline frenzy.

That alone will be a dramatic departure from the team’s approach. I can’t remember the last time the Rangers were heading into July ready to be sellers. Plus, they actually have some assets left that could fetch pieces of the puzzle for building a championship-caliber team.

Mark Teixeira should be traded and should return a ready-to-break-out major-league starting pitcher plus a prospect or two. Gagne, and maybe also Otsuka, are in high demand from talent-laden teams chasing a championship this season. Lofton and maybe Sosa should also return players who can contribute to the Rangers’ rebuilding efforts.

Without a horrible start to the season, Hicks and Daniels would undoubtedly have continued their delusional approach. Instead, maybe they’ll finally get their priorities straight – pitching first, hitting second=winning=excited fans=profits=more winning – and possibly Rangers’ fans best chance to finally have a championship-caliber team for the first time.

Then again, we are talking about Hicks and Daniels, so the odds are they will still find a way to get it wrong.

But in the meantime, here’s to the best Rangers’ season yet this millennium!