Monday Morning Manager…A Few Good Men

Sorry, we’re not waiting until Friday.Narron

Those of us who hang around the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill are drinking a toast to Jerry Narron, who was fired as the Cincinnati Reds manager on Sunday.

Look, if you’ve hung around the Rangers for 20 years you know there aren’t two finer people in this game than Narron and Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky and you were hoping that their partnership would be successful.

There’s no doubt the decision caused Krivsky much pain. I’ve talked to him enough to know how much he respects Jerry Narron. Anybody that has been around Narron for any length of time has great respect for him. He wanted it badly.

He was Johnny Oates’ closest friend in the game and that’s all you needed to know.

Every single night I monitor that scoreboard watching closely how the Reds are doing. And the Milwaukee Brewers. It was tough having them in the same division.

You have to respect the tough decision that Krivsky made but it doesn’t make it any easier. This game can be tough to take. On to the weekly questions…

1. Anybody have any thoughts on that?

2. Did they make the right choice as to who would be the Rangers All-Star?

3. Do you keep Robinson Tejeda in the rotation?

4. Has Marlon Byrd shown enough to convince you he’s an integral part of the Rangers future?

5. Are we seeing the real Rangers now or a mid-summer mirage.


1. Narron was always one of my favorites, as was Doug Melvin (victims of John Hart). He’ll land on his feet. How ’bout in the Rangers organization?

2. Michael Young IS the right man to go from the Rangers (lots of people were predicting Sosa). Without Texieria’s injury, one could easily make a case for him as well. It’s a shame that the real first baseman for the Red Sox isn’t going.

3. Marlon Byrd (my daughter pointed out that he has a “fish fowl” name) should be here to stay. He has great plate presence, decent fielder and he is a GAMER.

4. I think we’re seeing what the Rangers could be (veteran hitters and young, talented pitchers). I don’t think we’re going back to what we were in April/May. Maybe a little backsliding, but not like it was. Even before the swoon stopped, this team has great potential.


1. If he’s a friend of Johnny’s , then that makes him great in my book.

2. MY has been much better lately, but Sosa deserved more consideration.

3. Byrd looks like he’s here to stay. Now he just needs to learn how to play the OF at Fenway. Ugly yesterday.

4. I think we’re seeing what the Rangers can be, but I think we’d all be naive to think that it’s going to be hunky-dory from here. With the rotation and lineup the Rangers have (or rather, lack), there’s another 10 losses in 15 game-stretch headed our way.

1. Can’t fire the real culprits – the players. In a world where we have to point fingers and assign blame – managers are always the sacrificial lamb.

If a manager is the root of the problem then shouldn’t this year’s Rangers team be better than last year’s instead of worse?

2. Much as I loathe having to write this – I think Sammy is the All-Star on this year’s team. Sammy’s been one of the most consistent players on the team, he’s tied for 4th place in the AL for most RBI’s – on a terrible team. Let’s not forget Michael Young’s April and May performance is one of the major reasons the Rangers still have one of the worst records in the AL – not All-Star worthy in my book.

3. Yes, he’s not blocking anyone at AAA. This is one of those seasons where the Rangers can afford to throw him out there every fifth day and let him try to figure it out. If Robinson doesn’t, then the Rangers go into the off-season knowing they’ll need another starting pitcher for next year. And please, I don’t want to hear about bringing up Eric Hurley (with a grand total of 2 starts at AAA) – let me give you an example of how bringing up player too soon can ruin a promising career: Edinson Volquez.

4. No. Byrd’s been in the majors for all or parts of 5 years, he has exactly one season before this year (2003) where he’s had more than 100 AB’s with a .300 BA. The rest of his career numbers are: .228 – .264 – .223 He’s a good fill in, having a good month.

5. Let me think about this: Blalock, Kinsler and Teixeira all injured, Nelson Cruz in AAA, Catalanotto hitting .205, a current infield of Vasquez, Metcalf, Wilkerson and soon Relaford, a starting rotation featuring the much traveled and often released Jamey Wright with 6.38 ERA, and Kevin Millwood sporting a 7.55 ERA in June. I wouldn’t call it a mirage – I’d call it a bona fide baseball miracle. They are due to come back down to earth, probably starting tomorrow when Vlad and company show up at the Ballpark.

1. Narron is a good baseball man. He won’t have any trouble finding employment.

2. I will never have a problem with Michael Young going to an All-Star game. Sammy may have gotten jobbed a bit. 63 RBI is hard to ignore, but in the end they went with a more versatile player and last year’s MVP.

3. No. If he’s hurt DL him, if he needs to work it out send him down and recall Wood or just send him to the bullpen. There should be plenty of mop up work with on the days Millwood and Wright pitch.

4. Integral? No. He’s had a nice 30+ games and I’d love to see him back next year……as a reserve.

5. They’re finding ways to win, and maybe it is a mirage. All I know is that I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

1. It’s a shame. He gets fired because players like Edwin Encarnacion CHOOSE NOT to run out popups.

2. Yes. He’s earned the respect of his colleagues and has become a role model. There are no huge differences between them production-wise. Sosa has more HRs and a higher slug% but Michael still has a higher batting avg, more runs scored, more SBs, and his OBP is 35 points higher.

3. There is no doubt. He should stay in the rotation. If we give up on him now, he might become another Doug Davis or Justin Duchscherer.

Who would take his spot, anyway? journeyman Redman? Mike Wood (who teased the A’s and Royals for four years), Eric Hurley (certainly a midseason callup but for next year), Mr.Edison “5 IP/100 pitches thrown” Volquez? Let’s not mess with Hurley right now. Keep him at AAA for the rest of the year. Don’t do what we did with Volquez or what the Reds are doing with Homer Bailey (23.1 IP, 19/10 BB/K, 8.10 ERA).

4. Ask again in 2 months.

5. It’s probably a mirage. Hopefully, Kam Loe’s pitching isn’t.

T.R – great, tough questions. You’re going to make me write some things that hurt to write.

1. It hurts to say it, but as nice a guy as he may be, Narron has been a failure as a manager. With the talent he had here (at least offensively) for the Rangers and now with the Reds, I think both teams underperformed under his management.

2. From a PR perspective – absolutely. Michael Young is the face of the Rangers. From a performance standpoint, it’s hard to deny that Sosa was probably more deserving. But I’d rather see Young go.

3. After a good April, he’s gone 2-67 with an era above 8! Robinson Tejeda needs to go down. Look what it did for Cruz. Maybe he’ll respond the same way. In the meantime, Mike Wood’s earned another shot – bring him back up.

4. Not yet. A good couple of months does not erase years of mediocre performance. But, he’s sure established himself as the leading contender to be one of the Ranger’s outfielders of the future.

5. Yes and no. The pitching is over-performing a bit lately. I don’t think we can expect that to continue. But, the offense has finally revealed its true self. I worry that Hicks and Daniels may believe this is the real Rangers and start thinking they don’t need to Transform the team as much they first thought. That hasn’t changed. This team needs an Autobot-type transformation to have any chance to become a championship caliber team. Even if we were seeing the “true” Rangers right now – they’re still not close to being able to run with the Angels, Tigers, Indians, Twins, Red Sox or Mariners, and there’s no reason to believe that the current squad will improve enough organically to catch that elite level of AL teams. So unless we just want more of the same – constant flirting with .500 ball, short-sighted trades to try to make a late run or at least sell more tickets, and September disappointment despite no reasonable belief that the team could compete in October – the Rangers still need transformation.

1. Nope
2. As bad as they played in the first half, he is a good choice. It would have been cool to see Sammie make it after taking a year off but Young is a good choice.

3. Um, so that the streak we are on is lost. No. I don’t know who else can take his spot but there has to be someone who can average more than 4-5 innings as a starter and not give up 3-4 runs. I do agree to not bring up Hurley until he is good and ready.

4. I think he has put himself in a deserving spot and consideration to be decent temp solution for the Rangers. Granted the month of June is over now and we’ll see if he can continue. i hope he does.

5. I sure hope so! I have been on a high seeing the Rangers take these series against good opponents. After tonights game will be a true test w/the Angels. To see them do this w/o Tex makes it hard to believe that this may be the end of the road for him as a Ranger.****** because he is an awesome player but to get young, good pitching in return is alright too.

They are finally playing together but to believe they would win the division or even get close would be foolish.I’m still hoping for anything but a bottom finish…and keep my fingers and hopes up high for even better. There is still a **** load of baseball left and I would like to think, anything is possible…even miracles.

1/ Cannot really comment on Narron but Johnny Oats was awesome …
2/ I don’t feel any Ranger is “allstar” this year .

3/unfortunately yes you have to keep him there but he doesn’t look like he is enjoying himself right now or that he is trying “that hard” either but thats just my view as I watch him pitch.

4/ He is playing really well… maybe he has found “his club” I think he should stay.

5/This is what I expected when the season started so maybe this is what the Rangers will be like for the rest of the season .. still wont make the postseason though

1. I’m raising my mug of coffee to that.
2. Still wish it was Aki, but I won’t complain.

3. Don’t send him down, just call up Andy Hawkins. He fixed Kam.

4. No, he is proving to still be a great 4th guy out there.

5. This is the the kind of play I have been waiting for from this roster. I think this team will salvage the season by getting to .500

1) I don’t remember Jerry Narron being given a chance managing the Rangers after Johnny Oates resigned. He seemed to be very popular with the players…but, at least he had his chance. I wish it had been successful. He seemed like a class act. (Just like Doug Melvin and his co-hort, Johnny Oates.) Golly, how we miss ye. It must be very difficult to fire someone you totally believe in. I hope I never have to do that.

2) No. Sammy deserved the pick. He’s in the top 4 of RBI’s in our league, is probably the Comeback Player of the Year (based on what he projects to do), and climbed over 600 Homers this first half of the season. Ordinarily, Michael would be the lock, but Sammy deserved the pick this year.

3) Yes, he has the tools. He has the stuff. He needs to recapture what he did in the earlier part of the season. Can’t the might Tom Hicks send the Triple A pitching coach who straightened out Kameron Loe, and work with him for about a day? If not that, I’d hire Fergie Jenkins in a (excuse the slip) New York minute, and show Robinson, Brandon and everyone else, how to be calm, to bend but not break, to pitch at a brisker pace, and to throw STRIKES. If anyone can revive the young guys, it would be Fergie. If not him, let the Triple A guy try to help like he did in a couple hours with Kameron.

4) You never know. I’ve seen Monty Faris have a bang-up couple weeks. And Dave Hostetler. And on and on…..Right now, YES! Marlon has worked hard, is productive, is very likable, and deserves a shot. But let’s not get carried away with someone over this short a time. Question: Who else has produced besides Marlon and Sammy? Victor Diaz, given more playing time, might fit this “future” planning.

5) Based on what I know, and history, a mid-summer mirage. Often times when two of your top guys, our corner “power” men are out, either a team goes two ways. Either hungry guys “over-produce” from what their histories show and skew the overall picture, or the team goes nose-diving into oblivion,like I expected. However, the Victor Diaz’s, Marlon Byrds, the Ramon Vasquez’s, Travis Metcalfs, and even ol’ “Mr. On-Base Percentage” Wilkerson, has come through at times. If we are playing this good without Tex and Hank, it gives us a partially-skewed picture, because the “fill-ins” want to excell (what a concept!!) and help the T-E-A-M cause. I’m pleased how the team has bounced back, though I worry the bullpen’s collective arm will lengthen at least a foot each. These guys need productive starters who can go (shuddering to ponder this:) 7 to 8 innings. NOT 5. I give Ron some credit for not losing hope, for keeping the ship in order, and helping propel them through these past couple of series we’ve won against stiff competition.

Wow, I guess what they say about blogging is true: if you’re out of the loop for a month, you might as well be out of the loop for the year.
Since I don’t know all the details on all of these issues, I’ll stick to the ones I know about:

2. No, it should have been Sosa. He hit #600 this year, and wether you like him or not, he and Mark McGwire revived baseball in the 90’s. If Barry Bonds is going to be the NL starter in left, then Sammy at least deserved a bench spot in recognition of his milestone.

3. I haven’t seen him pitch the last few starts, but the stats stink. But we stuck with McCarthy, we should stick with him.

4. I’ve always thought Byrd was an underrated player with excellent tools, and he just needed a chance to really showcase them. Right now, he’s putting on a heck of a show, so we’ll just have to wait and see if the Marlon Byrd show is a miniseries or if it will last through till the fall.

5. I think this is what this team has always been capable of. If nothing else it shows this team can be versatile if the young guys are given a chance to play. But getting back to .500? What could possibly make anybody think we will do as well as last year (when we basically finished at .500) which was a good season for us, with the way we have played this year?

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