Monday Morning Manager…Six Days to Toby

The Rangers may be lagging in last place but Toby is getting ready for his first trip to the Ballpark in Arlington. He will be there on Sunday night and hoping to meet any and all Elysian Fields readers. What can I say. The dog loves baseball.

He also loves opinions and general rants…

1. What’s the boldest move the Rangers should make right now?

2. What roster adjustments need to be made?

3. Is there anybody who needs to come out of the rotation and who should replace them?

4. What blockbuster trade can you come up with that will shake up the Rangers?

5. Should Nelson Cruz be in the lineup or in Triple A.


1. The boldest move the Rangers should make right now is trading Tex. They have to get something great in return because the last thing we want to do is run Tex out of town for nothing. Its not like Tex is hurting our team. He’s our best hitter in our lineup but we have to get value for him before he depriciates next year because of his free agency.
2. A roster move that needs to be made is bringing up Jason Botts. That will be the sign that will show us the Rangers effort to trade Tex.

3. I think Tejada needs to come out of the rotation and make a couple of starts in AAA to regain his confidence. We really dont have anyone to replace him but maybe….. we should call up Eric Hurley.

4. Tex, Gagne, Wilkerson for Hunter and Garza (doubt that would ever get accepted though). Everyone on the Rangers team should be available besides Young, Kinsler, McCarthy, Littleton and Hurley.

5. When did Nelson Cruz get the “next big thing” label. Is it something the Rangers bestowed on him to justify that horrible trade with Milwalkee last year. Send him back to AAA and name Diaz the starting RF. He deserves it

I certainly hope that someone will take pictures of Toby and post them for those of us who won’t be attending Sunday’s game!

1. The boldest move that would help the Texas Rangers organization would be to get a new owner. The root of all their problems is a lack of patience – and that starts with Tom Hicks.

The Rangers need an owner who will hire baseball people and let them do their job – let them implement a plan for building the team and the minors league, stick with it, and bring some stability to the organization, something Tom Hicks has never allowed to happen with his new plan each season and 3 GM’s in the 7 years he’s owned the team. Mr. Hicks refuses to understand that the business of baseball can’t and won’t ever be run like Fortune 500 company – in baseball some years you make money – some years you don’t – if you don’t have the patience, wherewithal and deep pockets to ride the baseball roller coaster of baseball economics – then get out of the game.

2. First thing – make Mark Teixeira a realistic offer – see what happens. Most likely his agent will turn it down, but you never know, Boras does work for Mark – not the other way around. Plus it would be a gesture the fans would understand – the team tried – Mark and his agent are the ones who turned us down. Then don’t wait until the trading deadline – start looking at deals now – I agree with what Jamey Newberg wrote the other day: teams are more likely to make a better deal now knowing they’d have Mark for 2 possible playoff runs (this season and next).

Second thing – give up – get the young guys in there – when Sammy gets to 600 – send him home, send Kenny Lofton to a contender, same thing with Ramon Vasquez. Then let Nelson Cruz, Victor Diaz, Marlon Byrd man the OF bring up Kevin Mahar as the utility OF, find a spot for Jason Botts (either 1B – if Tex is gone, or at DH) let ‘em sink or swim – they’ll all get 300+ AB’s and it can only help with evaluations and planning for next season. Leave the young guys in the rotation – no matter what (see answer to #3)

3. The short answer is: Nothing – let the young guys (McCarthy, Loe and Tejeda) take their lumps – and hope that Millwood and Padilla do something…anything.

The long answer: I find it amazing that Ron Washington – who proclaimed during Spring Training that he was going to follow the Oakland model and stick with the young guys even when they struggle – is ready to give up on 25 year old Robinson Tejeda who has a little over 200 IP in the majors – while saying nothing about Kevin Millwood and Vincente Padilla, veterans pocketing big paychecks who’ve given up 15 earned runs and 16 earned runs each in their last 3 starts – just like Tejeda.

4. Based Jon Daniels trading ledger, which so far is pretty poor – trade talk is a scary thing – which why I don’t have an answer to this question.

5. See my answer to #2

1) Fire both Daniels and Washington. Install Howe as interim manager, Lombardo as GM. The only direction is up.
2) Modify their lineup and rotation as follows: Travis Metcalf 3b, Corey Benjamin ss; Tug Hulett 2b; Tex, 1b; Victor Diaz, lf; Marlon Byrd, cf; Jason Botts,rf; Laird,c (for now); Gold to DH. Rotation, Hurley, Mathis, McCarthy, Tejada, Wilson. Trade Young, Cat and Lofton, release Kata; Kinsler to AAA to learn to play 2nd; Cruz to AAA to learn to hit breaking pitches; release Hairston; Padilla and Millwood to the pen; Loe to AAA.

3) The Rangers should institute a policy of not making trades with anyone for anybody.

1. Trading Tex. That’d be a pretty bold move, and I really don’t want to see him leave, but it seems inevitable at this point. I agree with what Jamey (and EMC) have said — make him a good offer and let him decide. If they turn it down, start shopping.

2. Jason Botts needs to come up ASAP. His defense may be a little shaky, but his bat is solid.

3. Not at this point. As frustrating as it is, if they’re going to practice what they preach (patience with youth), they need to stick with the young guys and lean on the veterans to start getting results.

4. Again, trading Tex would shake things up. Especially if he’s packaged with someone like Otsuka.

5. Stick with him awhile longer. I think he is improving. And this season is pretty much already a wash (no pun intended), so why not let him (and others) learn a little more out there?

1/ Boldest move….a) Offer Tex a long term contract with good money attached.b) Sack the people who gave JD the wrong info about Danks and Massett.c)Send Nelson Cruz to AAA d)Trade Padilla, Kata, Wilkinson for a decent starting pitcher or reliever

2/a)Kam Loe to the bullpen as long relief b) put willie Eyre in Loe’s spot or bring up Rheinecker who is doing well in AAA c)bring up Botts .. he has to be given a chance.

3/ see 2 but if Padilla is traded bring up Rheinecker to replace him.

4/ Trade Washington to the Cubs for Pinella :-) ummmm ok sorry …how about Sammy Sosa for Barry Bonds? NO? yep I know, being totally silly ..

How about Padilla,Lofton and Wilkinson for Tori Hunter and a young pitching prospect ???? Don’t know if that would shake up the Rangers but sounds good.

5/Cruz needs to go to AAA. He is not getting the at bats he needs in the Majors. I think (hope) he would understand and accept it and show what he is made of by blowing them away in AAA.

1. My boldest move would be to keep Teixeira if we don’t get a GREAT offer for him. Other area newspaper columnists seem to think his value isn’t high because everyone knows he will be traded. IF thats the case and his value isn’t high, don’t trade him.

2. Hairston for Kata, Wilkerson for Cruz. I would love to be able to bring someone else up and release Hairston, but I don’t know who that would be. It doesn’t seem like we can bring Botts up until Sammy’s gone, which I hope is soon.

3. Loe needs to go to the bullpen and Mark Redman needs to replace him. If Mark gets off to a bad start, release him. If he gets off to a good start you can trade him as a fifth starter to a contending team.

4. Lofton, Teixeira, Otsuka, Arais to Detroit for Curtis Granderson and Andrew Miller and two mid-level prospects. If you have to take Sean Casey take him too. Although Detroit might not want to redo there team that much, Carlos Guillen is a free agent next season and they have a future all-star center fielder in Cameron Maybin.

5. Triple A.

1. Firing Daniels isn’t bold. Running Tom Hicks out of the owner’s office would be – and is more necessary. He ***** as a baseball owner, and with his 9th Anniversary as owner upon us, it’s time for a change. But unfortunately, Jerry Jones of all people has us stuck with Hicks until at least 2010. Argggggghhhhhhhh! (More on that on my blog:

2. Trade Tex, Gagne, Lofton, Cat ASAP – but DanielsHart better get those right. Why aren’t Botts and Rupe up here yet? Time for them to take their rookie licks now when the season’s already lost and we can learn once and for all whether they can contribute at the major league level.

3. Give Padilla and Millwood the rest of the summer off. Bring them back in September to figure out what’s gone wrong with them. In the meantime, the rotation should be McCarthy, Loe, Tejeda, Koronka and Wood. If/when it becomes clear that any of the 5 just don’t have IT, then give Rupe, Volquez, Rheinecker (once healthy), Wright (once healthy, Cruceta, Hurley and Mendoza their chances. If just one of them can become a winning major-league pitcher, then the Rangers are one good Tex trade and one good offseason free-agent signing away from – dare I say it – a competitive rotation. If two break through – whoa nelly!

4. Hicks for Cuban?

5. In the lineup! Let him develop here, now when it doesn’t matter – as long as Wash and Jaramillo can help him keep his head straight and not let frustration damage him long-term.

1) Toby, you REALLY DON’T want to know what I REALLY think should be done! Realistically, not bombastically, I would fire Ron Washington, even though I think he’s a good man. Good baseball man–just not a Manager. Say the experiment failed. I’d hire Rusty Greer as Manager; Will Clark on the bench, Fergie Jenkins as Pitching Coach. Do whatever it takes to get Sandy Johnson in charge of our farm system. Hire Grady Fuson as Asst.GM, with a bug in JD’s ear, and with Grady having a vote on all trades. I’d keep JD because he is young, can grow in the job, and HAS THE KAHUNAS to pull the trigger when necessary. Is that enough for #1 on your list?

2) Roster moves–BYE BYE Wilkie, Kata, Cat, Hairston, Mahay for starters. HELLO Edinson Volquez and Eric Hurley to be in the starting rotation. Also HELLO to Jason Botts and Joaquin Arias. I’d teach Botts how to catch, just in case it might prove handy some day. I’d let Arias play short, move Michael to second to save Michael’s arm, and career wear-and-tear. This moves Kinsler to third. Blalock better learn to play first, again, to save his shoulder and arm. I’d give Padilla a much-needed kick in the rump by sending him to AAA, to get things in order mentally. He has the stuff. Trade Tex to Cleveland for Travis Hafner and Jake Peavy….IF they’d be so daft. Put Nelson Cruz in right and leave him there. Look at signing Andruw Jones or Tori Hunter next time around. One roster move I would NOT make is trading Aki.

3) Padilla should be reomoved and set straight mentally, by Mark Connor and sent to AAA. Stick with McCarthy, Tejeda and Loe–we’ve seen glimpses of their ability, and they have a big upside. Undecided whether Millwood should be shopped. Bullpen-wise, I’d say bye to Mahay and Feldman. Volquez and Hurley can take up the slack in the rotation, though there will be a learning curve.

4) As stated above, I’d trade Tex for Travis Hafner and Jake Peavy–IF they’d give up both. We might have to include Benoit or something to make it happen though.

5) As stated above, he should be in right field, and be KICKED IN THE POSTERIOR by the manager for not making adjustments or hitting situationally. ALL the team needs to do this–this is my biggest gripe with the current coaching staff and manager: NOT kicking the players in the butt for lousy performance. Some chairs should be flying somewhere, one would think. Give me **** Williams and Billy Hunter ANYDAY than this outfit. The players kicked Buck out into the street, got their man, and are rewarding Ron with this sloppy rubbish we’ve been seeing. I ONLY blame the players. (Now, what I’d suggest for Tom Hicks would be not suitable for a family blog, such as Toby’s!)

1. Start the Exodus

2. Send Kata down. Bring Hairston up. The next time a spot start comes up give it to Eyre. Find a way to get Botts some serious playing time as a look toward next year.

3. Padilla just plain stinks right now, but a move to the bullpen would probably only damage his fragile psyche even further. Who knows?

4. Tex and Mahay to the Dodgers for Andy LaRoche, Scott Elbert, and Matt Kemp. Additionally, Eric Gagne to Cleveland for Aaron Laffey. Kenny Lofton to Boston for Edgar Martinez (no, not that Edgar Martinez) and Sammy to the Giants for Taylor Wilding, Eugenio Valez and a PTBNL.

5. AAA. I want to see more of Diaz and Botts.

1. What’s the boldest move the Rangers should make right now?

Hmmm.. since I think trading Tex is an almost certainty before the deadline I’d say move Padilla to the bullpen and see if the demotion gives him the fire he needs to work more quickly and pitch like he did when he was pitching for a contract.

I’d also forego batting practice and practice defensive drills until we played an entire series of good defensive baseball. Yes you have to score runs to win games but I’d let everyone know that we were going to improve our defense before we did anything else.

2. What roster adjustments need to be made?

Kata and Cruz down… Botts and Hairston up. Eyre for Redman or Wright.

3. Is there anybody who needs to come out of the rotation and who should replace them?

Since I mentioned Padilla going to the bullpen I would fill his rotation spot with with Redman or Wright …hoping they can turn in a few good outings and turn in to a tack on in a trade that nets us a decent prospect in return.

4. What blockbuster trade can you come up with that will shake up the Rangers?

Can’t name names on the return but I imagine we will see Tex, Gagne, Otsuka, Sosa, Benoit, Lofton, Cat, Wilky, ?Diaz?, ?Millwood?, ?McCarthy?, ?Padilla?, ?Byrd?, ?Vasquez? all playing in different uniforms before September.

5. Should Nelson Cruz be in the lineup or in Triple A.

Cruz needs to play everyday and the only place for that to occur at the moment needs to be AAA.

1. Firing the worst picthing coach in baseball. There is a reason good pitchers turn average when they are here and average pitchers turn good when they leave. And it is not the weather.

2. Young/future guys (Wood, Koronka, Botts and Guzman) need to come up and old guys (Lofton, Sosa, Gagne, padilla, Millwood) who are here to help us win before the young guys are ready need to go.

3. Padilla out Wood in.

4. Tex, Gagne, Aki, and Millwood to Baltimore for markakis, Huff, pitching prospects Lowen and Penn.

5. Cruz needs to play everyday this season to see if he is the real deal or not. Since Rangers aren’t going anywhere, stick him in the lineup.

Understand that I’m giving up the season…On our present condition I guess that’s the right thing to do
1. Fire Washington Connor et al

2. Trade Cruz, give up on Wilkerson, trade Padilla and Millwood for whatever young arms are available. Make Tex a Ranger for Life and give Blalock security.

3. Bring up Wood and heck maybe Danks (whoops…Little Jon has peddeled him)…ok so I knew that…maybe Hurley

Trade gagne also but keep Aki.

4. No one will give us what we need…starting pitching…

5. Nelson Cruz has had the chances and he’s been pathetic…get a prospect in return for him

6. Last but not least we should boycott the team on the next homestand so that Hicks knows it’s personal…maybe he’ll sell the Team back to Bush who it appears was a better owner than he was a popular president…(sorry Mr. President)

1. I don’t think trading teixeira would really be that bold. It’s something the franchise must do to get on the right track, especially if they feel they have no chance of re-signing him. And even though the team is sinking fast, trading tex is not a move that absolutely must be made….just yet.

2. Since the rangers top problem is starting pitching, i beleive they need to stick with tejeda and mccarthy and ride it out. Even though tejeda has had a bad month, his last start would have been a quality one if vazques hadn’t muffed that play. They need to bring up botts, and once arias gets healthy they should leave him in triple A and see if he has the arm to play 3rd. One roster move that should NOT be made is bringing hurley up. They rushed volquez and have gotten lucky that he’s starting to find himself again after a dismal season last year.

3. Really, to me the only starter that is vastly playing below expectations is kevin millwood. Yes padilla has an era over 6, but if you look at many of his starts terribly bad defense has shot his confidence and thus ruined many of his outings. I would actually keep the rotation as is. tejeda,loe,mccarthy,padilla and millwood. But i would also try mike wood

4. I would trade tex, otsuka/gagne, and kenny lofton to detroit for cameron maybin and andrew miller and even though he’s pretty untouchable i’d ask about bonderman.

Also I think that guy with the cleveland offer might have meant jake westbrook not peavy??? I would also look into trading tex,otsuka/gagne and probably an upper prospect to the dodgers for clayton kershaw,chad billingsy and james loney.

5. I think the reason nelson cruz has struggled so much this year is because of his playing time. Washington has not let him get in a rythm. The only time that cruz was playing on a consistent basis was during the beginning of the season when he was actually playing decent. But at this point marlon byrd is simply outplaying everyone as is victor diaz, and those 2 have to be in the lineup every night.

actually if the rangers hadn’t wasted their money on frank cattallanato they would actually have 3 picks in the 1st round instead of just 2. I hope they don’t mess it up again.

Actually now that i think about it the boldest move the rangers could make would be to offer a contract extension to teixeira. Sound crazy?? hear me out. At this point im sure many of you have read all of the espn and DMN columnists thoughts and would probably have to agree that with mark’s possible signability problems, the fact that he plays in a launch pad, and his somewhat light hitting so far this season getting an offer that all of us ranger’s fans would feel worthy is probably going to be pretty difficult to attain. One of the things the rangers actually have going for them is the amount of money it will take to lock up teixeira long term. Right now the rangers have the slight upper hand because possible teixeira suitors aren’t 100% aware of the money it will take to sign him. But if the rangers make an outlandish offer and tex rejects it that will considerably drive down the offers.

1. Re-sign Teixiera at 7 years 126 million, then move him to the outfield. Then commit to re-building with a true youth movement. This would give us Blalock, Teixiera and Young as the core group of players. Not too shabby.
2. Move Young back to 2B, this is his future. Bring up Hurley, Volquez and any other young players that they think can play. Teagarden and Botts should have been here yesterday. Play DIAZ, I think you have found a player in either left or right field. Forget Hairston. Trade Wilkerson, Lofton, Sosa, Gagne all tradeable commodities.

3. Give Benoit a chance in there. Give Wilson a chance, see if these guys can start.

4. If Texiera wants free-agency, and i think he just hates losing and wants out, then trade him for equal value. Don’t give him away, like we did Soriano. Make whoever wants Texiera, take Wilkerson too. We MUST get value for Teixiera. I don’t think the Yankees are going to give us Hughes but we should ask for him. If they won’t then talk to Baltimore or Atlanta, 2 places that he probably would like to go.

5. This season is over, Cruz should be playing everyday in the majors. All we heard was what a 5 tool player he is, he was who we truly wanted Lee was a throw in. Well play the guy. We know what he can do in the minors, now he has to take the next step, the most difficult one. You have to be real careful with young and green players. You have to be able to get them to relax and let their natural ability take over. They are no diffent than us, if they have anxiety and a fear of being yanked from the game then they aren’t going to do well. Patience is a virtue. I don’t care if he hits a buck ninety five, play him. I think he is a player, he just needs to play everyday. Unfortunately i don’t think we have much of a choice.

1. Tell Hicks to sale controlling interest back to the President. He’ll need a hobby in a few months. And, he has the patience to make a good plan and stick to it. Give Goose his walking papers and get Orel back from ESPN. Give Wilkerson his outright release, he is consistantly injured and has NO trade value. Give Botts another look at DH.
2. Give Aki back his job as closer until Gagne proves that he is healthy and can play on back to back days. Switch Benoit and Millwood, until Kevin gets his control back, and proves he’s healthy. Decide on an outfield line-up and stick with it.

3. Millwood needs to go to the bullpen until he proves he is healthy, and let Benoit have a chance at the rotation as a starter, again. And for goodness sakes shipout Feldman. Vicente should be sent down to AAA, until he learns to better manage his time between pitches. Being Rhienecker back until he does.

4. Can’t think of any. You can’t trade Young, because he is the “face” of the club, even though he hasn’t earned his $80 million. Tex is the best bat that we have going right now, but everybody wants to trade him and bring up a bunch of unproven talent.

In the mailbag, someone spoke of Mantle, Maris, and Berra. The great thing about baseball then, and the Yankees now, was that they didn’t trade off talent for “talented” players that never show. You can’t trade off Gagne, because he has not been able to show that he is the closer that he was, and, therefore, has no trade value. Even as good a come back as Sosa has had, he is still not swining the bat for power like he was in 2002-04. Again, no trade value. Other than Tex, I don’t see that we have anybody of value in a trade.

5. As much as I like the arm that Cruz shows in right field, I like Diaz’s bat better. So grudgingly I have to admit that maybe a short stint in AAA would be healthy.

Also, you can pass along to Hicks and JD, that if they trade Tex, I for one will be sitting at the Center Field offices, the next morning, demanding a refund for every Rangers shirt, hat, ticket, and piece of paraphenalia that I have, so that I can replace it with Astro’s merchandise.

With the whole starting pitching staff having an ERA over 6, I tend to think there is a philosophy or common thread that needs to change. Oral was a mechanics coach, Connor is an opposing batters expert. Maybe the staff needs a different kind of help.
Also, is it true that three of the four in-fielders are newly married men and fathers? Could that possibly be part of the problem? Wives that could possibly be less than patient, because they’ve lost their patients too, and small children that cause a dramatic lack of sleep! They make up the core and leadership of this team and the others could just be following suit. Just throwin’ it out there.

As to the comment above from ep067349, I indeed made a mistake and said I’d trade Tex and Benoit for Travis Hafner and Jake Peavy. I DID mean Jake Westbrook, instead of Peavy. Thanks ep067349, for the heads-up. I stand corrected. My thinking was, Cleveland gets a solid all-around, young switch-hitter, and we get a first basemen with pop back, plus trading the pretty solid and versatile Benoit for a starter like Westbrook. It probably won’t happen, but TR and Toby want what I WOULD DO. That’s it.

If I were trading teixeira i would get into talks with baltimore. They would love to get mark teixeira and im sure we could get them to part with erik bedard and nick markakis. but whatever they do, don’t take daniel cabrera. Sure he’s talented but he can’t throw strikes. Juan dominguez anyone??

1. Trade Lofton, Sosa and Gagne since the plan for 2007 is sunk.
2. Wilkerson, Kata, and Cruz stay off it, time for fresh bats

3. Kam Loe should go to long relief for Koronka or Rhienecker. That way Kam can come in for Padilla after two innings.

4. Tex to Boston for Dave Murphy, Kevin Youkilis and Jon Lester

5. Yup.

I thought that Ron Washington was supposed to be a coaching guru for the infield?? He needs to spend some quality time with Ian Kinsler unless we want the most errors by a second baseman.

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