While nearly all of our users agree that Texas has been done in by horrible pitching and unproductive, aging hitters, not all of them blame Tom Hicks. Some users criticize the high-spending owner for not addressing pitching in the offseason, while others point out that Hicks didn't have many pitching options to choose from. Here are some edited responses:
Texas is just making excuses
Three years ago, the Rangers chose not to sign Juan Gonzalez to big money, instead opting to sign A-Rod two years later. Pitching was the issue then, it remains the issue today. The organization cites lack of free-agent pitching options and an unwillingness to pay a player who participates once every five days big money. Aaron sele and John Burkett vs. Kenny Rogers and Darren Oliver. Need I say more? Doug Melvin has to go. Great job Doug.
Stop pushing the panic button
Am I the only one that sees promise in this first half? Honestly? Knowing that we did not add any pitching (like we had a choice with what was out there, we did all we could for Mussina and Hampton, what else was there?), we knew it couldn't be great. I blame Larry Hardy. When Hardy was moved the to the bullpen, the rotation blossomed. In June, Davis (2.62 ERA), Helling (3.97 ERA), and Oliver (3.26) did complete turnarounds. Will this continue? Who knows. However, to consider Texas a pitching wasteland when there is such promise in the rotation and a solid bullpen around Zimmerman (3.38 ERA), Venafro (2.76 ERA), and Moreno (2.79 ERA), is premature.
Wichita Falls, Texas
Tommy, can you hear me?
When they went after Caminiti, Galarraga, and Rodriguez, I thought they were crazy. Baseball is a pretty simple game if you have pitching and you can play defense. Instead, long-suffering Rangers fans get 5-hour marathon games with 20+ runs, 30+ hits and more often than not a loss. Mr. Hicks, you may know hockey, but you don't have a clue how to run a baseball team. Also, thanks for being the domino that is going to force a labor stoppage to ruin the best game ever invented! I hope you enjoy your $252 Million dollar man. Just think of the team you could have if you bought the Expos, Pirates and Twins. Two of the three teams are better than the Rangers and the Pirates will probably finish ahead of them as well.
Hicks' hands were tied
Everyone talks about Hicks' failure to sign pitching in the offseason, but in all actuality, there weren't any that were willing to come to Texas. I think the biggest waste of money on pitching has been Darren Dreifort and Kevin Appier. I don't blame Texas for not getting those guys. But as everyone knows, the Rangers have learned a lesson pitching is PARAMOUNT in today's game. By the way, I predict that Bob Wickman will find the closing job that he's looking for in Texas.
College Station, Texas
Silver lining, anybody?
Instead of looking at the bad, which is obvious, look at some of the positives: Jeff Zimmerman is becoming an excellent closer, his K/BB ratio and WHIP are excellent. If he had started the season as the closer, the Rangers might have 5-to-10 more wins. Venafro has become one of the top left-handed setup men in the A.L. They also have Davis who is coming around as a starter and a very good nucleus of young players working their way in as position starters. If they sign Pudge and develop, or get two starters, look out in 2003, they could become a team like the Yankees two years ago.
Sioux Falls, S.D.
Top Jimy, he's the king
The first half was miserable. I don't think there should of been a change with Johnny Oates. Jerry Narron is not your kind of a manager. When someone like Pat Mahomes or Jeff Zimmerman is doing good he takes them out? I think they need to get rid of Galarraga, and Palmeiro. Personally, I wonder why they would think about trading Ivan Rodriguez. He is the franchise. Tom Hicks is just not doing the right moves to be a contender. If they were going to select a manager they should of made Bucky Dent the manager. Then make a decision at the end of the season. They could get Jimy Williams if he dosen't stay with the Bo-Sox!
It's all part of a master plan
Althought the Rangers haven't exactly thrilled us, they maintained all along that they were in it for the long run. They are building for the future. The signing of the veteran hitters was just to give the young guns in the minors more time to develop. And don't forget, Hicks tried to sign free agent pitchers, they just weren't interested for whatever reason. Velarde was signed to give them a couple of years until Jason Ramano gets here, Galarraga until Carlos Pena gets here and they can DH Raffy until Hank Blalock gets here. Unless you know the whole story you should try and be a little less critical. Sure they're not the team that everybody across the country thought they would be, but the true Ranger fans know what Tom Hicks is doing here. The Rangers will have the last laugh in the next 2-3 years.
Ft. Worth, Texas
Simple mathematical equation
Big name, big money free agents = big time losers! It took the Mariners organization 25 years to learn this. How long will other owners go before they wake up and learn something? Pat Gillick is a genius.
Las Vegas, Nev.
There's still hope
Hicks didn't forget to upgrade the pitching staff, he was rebuffed by Hampton and Mussina. After those two, there wasn't a whole lot left out there. The only option was to use the money he'd planned to spend on pitching on a few hitters and hope a powerful offense could carry the Rangers to a World Series. It wasn't a total loss. This team is moving in the same direction the Dallas Stars did about six or seven years ago. Retain two or three core players, (A-Rod, I-Rod) draft as well as possible (Teixeira, Carlos Pena), and buy whatever else you need on the free agent market. Had the Rangers gone after Mussina and Hampton (had either player been interested in Texas), A-Rod obviously would not be a Ranger. That would mean that the Rangers would have Clayton and his what is it? .127 average?
Editor's note: Clayton was batting .198 at the All-Star Break.
You know it's going to be another long hot summer in Arlington when Kenny Rogers is projected to be your ace. The Rangers have to be one of the few clubs with lefties that can't get anyone out. Or did I mention, Darren "no more than 3 innings" Oliver? And with the signings of the aged Big Cat and the downfall of Caminiti, the Rangers were doomed from the start. How bad is it Ruben Sierra (much to everyone's surprise) is now doing well after a 5 plus years absence from stardom. Good thing A-Rod signed here to be with a winner! Maybe we can get Clemens when his days are over with the Yankees. Hicks has the $'s.
Time to think about 2002
It is now officially over for this season. Scrap Galarraga (and I really did love it when he came over from the NL) and Velarde. We have a core of relatively young guys (Lamb, Young, Porter, Kapler, A- Rod, Davis ) and make Pudge the team's elder statesman. Get everyone playing time and find that diamond in the rough (like Gabe was, until lately). While it is doubtful that there are any undiscovered pitching gems, consider that the minor leaguers can't be worse than the starters in the rotation. Spend the offseason signing I-Rod and finding some pitchers that can keep the team down to that magical 5.00 ERA.
Copperas Cove, Texas
Somebody get me a doctor
Paging Dr. Kevorkian to Arlington stat!