Yes. Now, that they’re done, I’m going to talk about “them”, the Texas Rangers.
What can you say about this season short of it was fantastic? I understand that the team fell short of the playoffs by petering out and playing a shitty last 20 games. (I’m assuming the last 6 games aren’t going to be gangbusters and the Red Sox aren’t going to drop 6 straight.) However, this season was much different than the 80+ win season of a few years ago.
One reason. There’s a future.
A couple of years ago, when the Rangers had the nice season no one believed that the next season or seasons were going to be great. That team wasn’t young, it had guys like Tex who we all knew wasn’t going to stay. It was an aberration.
The team this season actually backed up the message that we’ve been hearing from the front office for years. “Wait for 2009, wait for 2010, that’s when we compete.” Now, the young prospects are paying off, more importantly, it’s the pitching that’s arrived. The staff is young and promising. Feldman, Hunter, Nippert, Holland, Feliz, all set for promising futures. Add in the futures of young guys like Davis, Murphy, Andrus, Borbon and upcoming guys like Smoake and you’ve got a nice core of players to work with.
So why are we still worried as fans?
Tom Hicks ran out of money this year, and the MLB has, for all intents and purposes, taken over the Rangers. Which means that the other owners have a say in how things are run. Which means the Rangers can only offer slot values for draft picks, hence not being able to sign their top pick this year. It means not having the capital to sign free agents, which MUST HAPPEN WITH MARLON BYRD AND JOSH HAMILTON.
Tom Hicks has always been the problem with the Rangers. The front office and the team are finally solid and promising, but the problem begins and ends with the owner. If Tom Hicks can’t sell his team to a buyer who can afford to grow the Rangers, all the good vibes ad promise that have been built this season are for shit.