Rangers fans are lucky. The Rangers owner isn’t addicted to the spotlight like Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban. So, when he does pop out of the darkness, it’s worth listening to.
Back in August, Ray Davis showed his face when he fired Jon Daniels and declared, “we haven’t been good for six years.”
Yesterday, he came out of hiding again for the Bruce Bochy official announcement press conference. Once again, he vowed the team would be competitive in 2023, saying “I’m not a good loser.” Maybe not a good one, but an experienced one. Maybe all that losing is starting to cause some discomfort and finger-pointing down at the billionaires club.
Davis was very involved in the Bruce Bochy signing. After Chris Young flew to Boche’s home in Nashville for a seven-hour meeting with the three-time World Champion manager, Ray David followed it up with his own sit down. According to Brad Townsend in The Dallas Morning News, Davis asked Bochy why he would want to come out of retirement, and why do it with the Rangers? Bochy told him he still had the fire to manage, and that the new ballpark, recent draft picks, and Chris Young’s vision were the “optimal opportunity.”
As Townsend reported, Davis said, “Between C.Y.’s visit, and my visit, Bochy knew as much or more about our team and prospects than I did.” Davis said it took him ten minutes into his meeting with Bochy to know he was the right guy to manage the team.
When asked about his comment about being competitive, Davis replied that it’s not always about the money. He noted that the two highest-payroll teams, the Mets and Dodgers, didn’t even win their respective first rounds in the playoffs. The two teams in the upcoming World Series (which starts Friday) had the fourth-highest (Philadelphia) and ninth-highest (Houston) payroll in 2022. Texas’s was fifteenth highest. But Davis said he is committed to winning now and for the sustained future.
“It’s not just about the money,” the Rangers reclusive owner said. “It’s partially that, but I’ve made a commitment to C.Y. that we’re going to spend the money it takes to put a competitive team on the field.”
That’s encouraging. So was this comment from Davis: “I don’t know where the payroll is going to end up, but we’ll be competitive.”
Davis doesn’t say much in public. But an owner can’t make a much stronger commitment to turning it around than that.
Which begs one last question. Why did he wait so long?