Sunday, April 19, 2009

Burning Questions

Why haven’t you posted the game reports you promised last week?

The two games I attended were the Frisco Roughriders opener on Thursday 4/16 – they lost 11-9 to Springfield and Saturday’s Rangers game against the Royals that they lost. Thursday’s game was kind of ugly, Saturday’s game was heartbreaking – I wasn’t inclined to write about either game. I am going to Monday night’s game at Frisco, no matter what the outcome there will be a game report and pictures from that game and the two previous.

What did you think of Ron Washington’s decision to pull Michael Young and send up Omar Vizquel with the bases loaded?

Every time Ron finds himself in the position to make a game changing decision, he needs to stop and ask himself: What would Johnny Oates have done?

Do you think if the Rangers continue to struggle in April that Ron Washington will be fired?

Let’s remember that all baseball managers, coaches and GM’s are hired to be fired.
There are very, very few that ride off into the sunset on a white horse waving their hats goodbye. The majority wind up sitting uncomfortably at a table with TV lights glaring answering questions while trying to contain their feelings of resentment/sadness/humiliation/anger and whatever else for the guy sitting next to him (who just fired him) while experiencing one of the low points of their career on a very public stage. Think about this kids: if you’ve been laid off or ever worse fired, how you would you like a pack of nosy co-workers standing at you desk while you are cleaning it out asking what you think you did wrong and how you feel about the organization that just let you go and broadcasting to everyone in the company.

Back to the question – do I think he’ll be fired under those circumstances – probably. It appears that he made it through last year’s April debacle because Mr. Ryan hadn’t been in his new position in the organization long enough to feel comfortable making that call. This year it’s different, Nolan is more familiar and comfortable in his role and expectations are different (a little too high in my opinion) But that may be a moot point -at least until Tuesday since Texas is back in second place again after today’s win.

Do you think firing Ron Washington is right thing to do?


Unless a manager is truly incompetent, outright combative with players and management , or committing a crime there is no reason to fire a manager during the season . I don’t think Ron Washington is any of those things. The thing I don’t like about Washington is that he doesn’t seem to have learned much the last two seasons. He still makes strange decisions (see last Friday’s Michael Young situation), his team doesn’t appear to play solid fundamental baseball . I’m not talking about defense I’m talking about mental mistakes: on the basepaths, making ill-advised throws instead of making the routine play, not working the counts, – all those “little things” –(I’m not talking about “small ball”) that true contenders do well every day in every game. I don’ t really care about a happy clubhouse – any baseball fan knows that winning teams have chemistry and a great atmosphere – while losing clubs will point fingers at a poor clubhouse atmosphere and blame that on the manager instead of their own poor performances.

Additionally, firing a manager in mid-season, in my mind reflects badly on the ownership and the GM. They had an entire off season to decide if the manager/coaching staff was doing what they wanted. These people don’t miraculously change before they show up at next year’s spring training – they are the same staff lead the team to a great/or miserable/or mediocre season. Yes, I know that most mid-season managerial changes are just a symbolic gesture to the fans and the media “hey at least we’re doing something”. Just once, I’d love an GM to get up in front of press conference and tell the truth: “We can’t fire the players whose performance has been absolutely terrible and put the team in this position – so instead we’re firing the one guy whose contract we can control – even though he’s not the one who pitched poorly, or couldn’t get a base hit with runners in scoring position.” Now do I think Ron Washington should be let go at the end of the 2009 season – maybe. If I were Jon Daniels I’d certainly start looking around to see if there are any better options out there, and I kind of think there are.

Who do you blame?

I’m not playing the blame game. However, I do think it’s interesting that, as always, the hitting coach has his Teflon uniform on and the new pitching coach seems to have one too – wasn’t Mike Maddux hailed by some as the best acquisition the Rangers made this offseason? I’m not impressed – so far.

What’s next for Derek Holland?


The Rangers just couldn’t help themselves could they? I don ‘t buy the line that putting him in the bullpen is a “pressure free” move. The way this kid has been billed – if he struggles at all (and he will) it will make him a lightening rod for criticism and second guessing that he doesn’t deserve. I do think working him out of the bullpen is a good idea – just not at this stage of the season. You won’t read any glowing adjectives, or depressed disappointment or thinly stretched justifications about Derek on this blog. Phil Donahue has a great philosophy of life that I’m going to apply to all of Derek’s innings with the big league team: “Good Things Happen, Bad Things Happen”.

Where can I watch the Mariner’s commercials you mentioned last time.

Thanks to Mr. Schmenge for the link to this year’s and the past 4 seasons commercials (listed by year on the left hand side)

Finally – what is your take on this Rangers team?

Here's my answer:

  • the much loved 2004 Rangers were 6-7 on April 19th on their way to a 13-9 April record
  • the less than loveable 2006 Rangers were 7-11 on April 19th on their way to a 13-12 April record
  • the 2008 edition of this team was 7-11 on April 19th on their way to a 10-18 April record.

There are ten games left in April, and if you can tell me which edition of the Rangers (2004, 2006 or 2008) this year’s team most resembles, please let me know, because I have absolutely no idea.

With more questions than answers – Marla Hooch