It would be nice if the Rangers owners watched last night’s game. They would have learned a very important lesson.
Winning is fun.
Fans like it when your team wins.
It’s easy, and fun sport, to blame the past six seasons on Jon Daniels. And you would be right to a great extent. But Daniels didn’t sneak into the office unannounced and start making moves without anyone knowing about it.
Rangers ownership endorsed what was happening all along. How can one be certain of that? They kept Daniels around all those years. Bad behavior, horrible behavior, incompetent behavior, toxic behavior—any behavior that is unacceptable—is endorsed as long as it isn’t addressed.
Billionaires rarely fail on purpose.
A game like last night’s was fun to watch. It should be a reminder of the winning baseball the Rangers squandered for most of the past decade. But also a roadmap of what they can have if they are willing to invest in pitching this time.
The Rangers have the offense to compete. You don’t need all-stars up and down the lineup. Look at the Yankees. They have one hitter. Aaron Judge. It helps that he is having one of the truly greatest offensive seasons ever. But the rest of that Yankees lineup is less than mediocre. Yet, they are on the verge of winning their division. Why? Pitching.
This combination of Semien and Seager can be lethal. Add in Lowe and Garcia. Jung, as he gets his sea legs. Mitch Garver. Add a guy like Michael Conforto, and they have a competitive, winning lineup.
But this rotation filled with half-measures cannot cut it anymore. The Jon Daniels Method of finding discount arms, reclamation projects, a wing-and-a-prayer, that didn’t work, it doesn’t work, it won’t work.
Unfortunately, it was allowed to work.
Let’s hope all those empty seats and all the craning of the neck looking up in the standings has finally lit a fire under Rangers ownership.
Winning is fun. Having an offense that can come off the mat and win late is fun. Having a team that expects to win is fun.
People pay for fun.