Twilight in the House of Hicks

Tom Hicks wanted to win. Badly.

Just about every move that Hicks made as the owner of the Rangers was made in the belief that it would ultimately help the club reach the World Series and win it. That was his only goal as owner of the Rangers. Anybody could see he was never in this for the money.

All perceptions to the contrary just are not fair.

 
Hicks.JPGObviously he did not achieve his dream. Obviously the Rangers are dealing with a frustrated and disillusioned fan base. That part is painfully obvious. Eight losing seasons in ten years speaks for itself. So does the bank account and attendance figures

But Hicks did not fail for lack of trying. He tried hard. Perhaps too hard.

Consider $250 million for Alex Rodriguez, $65 million to Chan Ho Park, $60 million to Kevin Millwood, the long-term deals for Michael Young and Ian Kinsler, a relentless courtship of Roger Clemens that proved fruitless, a $99 million offer to Barry Zito – how does that look now – and significant offers to Randy Johnson, Carlos Delgado and others, a $150 million offer to Mark Teixeira, millions of dollars poured into scouting, player development and Latin America, the return of Nolan Ryan.

Anybody remember he authorized $2 million to a second-round pick – Vince Sinisi – who proved to be a bust?

Hicks thought he had it right when he hired a general manager with an unquestionably successful track record as well as a manager who had a significant role in building World Series championship teams with two different organizations. But he did so while arranging a shotgun marriage between John Hart and scouting director Grady Fuson that ultimately proved untenable.

It almost seems that the harder he tried, the worse it got until he realized that there are simply no short cuts in baseball. None, unless your home address is in the South Bronx.

Maybe if Hicks hadn’t fired Doug Melvin, but if Bob Short doesn’t fire Whitey Herzog then….

Roger Kahn wrote, “Losing after great striving is the story of man, who was born to sorrow, whose sweetest songs tell of saddest thoughts…”

In the end, Hicks just ran out of time and money, and ran into an economy that was tough on everybody. It’s almost like he gave everything he had until he had nothing left to give, although it was obvious in the end he was still trying hard to retain control of the team. He wanted it badly, right up to the very end.

This is almost like Lyndon Johnson at the end of his presidency, a man who believed in the Great Society and all it stood for, and believed what he was doing was the best for all Americans, but also knew that, because of the Vietnam War, he did not have the support to continue for another term in office. There comes a time when the hardest choice is the best choice and that is to step aside.

By Opening Day, the Rangers should be under new management. Hicks will be on the sidelines. The team will belong to Chuck Greenberg, Nolan Ryan and others. Hicks will be a part of it but not in the same capacity.

It is undeniable that public opinion is in favor of this deal. Having the most popular athlete in the history of the state on your side certainly is huge. Great expectations and rising optimism perhaps bounds again. Let the honeymoon begin.

The new regime is bound to bring renewed energy, great ideas and hopeful promises for the future…just like Hicks did in 1998.

He did everything he possibly could to make it happen. Whatever went wrong, it was never because of the lack of trying or a will to win.

 

8 Comments

In the end I think what Hicks did wrong…and who am I to 2nd guess a highly successful businessman like Tom Hicks, is that he just threw money at the problem of losing. That might have worked in the soft drink business or in the chocolate business but it didn’t work with the Rangers. The harder he tried it seems the worse it got. When he finally figured out that he was being mis-served by his “baseball” people and got Nolan Ryan and John Daniels it was really too late. Well maybe it wasn’t too late, after all Tom Hicks didn’t control the US economy did he? If the economy had stayed solid Banks may have continued his lines of credit. In the end the fickle fans of the Rangers are the ones who have killed the team. If the fans had packed the seats and we were drawing 3,000,000 thinks would have been different at the old ball park.

I respect the fact that Tom Hicks really tried hard to win. But, that was exactly his problem. He was trying to be George Steinbrenner and Jerry Jones. When he arrived, what we are currently doing was already in place with Melvin and co. I believe that if he had let them stay the course, we would’ve been back in the playoffs before now and maybe more. But, he came in and wanted to do it HIS way. He had that right given his investment. But, it has taken him a decade to finally figure out that he needs to let baseball people make baseball decisions. As a fan, I believe Tom Hicks did not want to win for me. I believe, right or wrong, that he wanted to win for Tom Hicks only. So with that, I bid him adieu. Thanks for nothing because ultimately that’s what he gave us. Show me one thing that Tom Hicks did exclusively for the fans here. When the Ballpark in Arlington was built, it was built as a pure baseball park. I never called it Ameriquest Field and I will never call it Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It is THE Ballpark in Arlington and I can’t wait to see what happens next. That is one minor example of Tom Hicks meddling with something that was not necessary. So, after Ameriquest failed, he wanted to put HIS brand on the park. He is also the same one who said the Rangers have always been a blue team when in truth, their colors have always been red, white, and blue. Those are just petty little things but when you mix it all together, it paints the picture I, as a fan, have of what Tom Hicks was all about. All I want for Christmas is Greenberg and Ryan. Maybe next, we’ll see the red, white, and blue Texas Longhorns uniforms go away and restore “Rangers” to the Texas Rangers. Then, we can sit back and watch these youngsters we have as the grow and develop into champions. With Greenberg and Ryan, I really believe it will happen. I have never believed that about he Hicks led Rangers. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

There’s no doubt Hicks wanted to win here. The misguided signings of Park and Rodriguez are clear indicators he was willing to spend to make that happen. The problem was him underestimating what it takes to build a winner and by the time his ego let him figure out that he wasn’t a great baseball mind the team’s finances didn’t allow for the free spending of days past.

Hicks’ legacy will be decidedly, and for good reason, negative. The few positives will be the ***** he displayed in the hiring and sticking with Jon Daniels through his early mistakes, the brains he displayed in hiring Nolan Ryan and the foresight that led to him develop and fund the Latin American program. The Hicks era is, thankfully, over. It was not a productive tenure, in its own time, but I’ll give him credit for leaving the club in a position, with better ownership, to win because he finally, almost too late, started listening to good baseball people.

In my view one word describes Mr. Hicks in his ownership tenure of the Texas Rangers, mercurial.

Still, no need to kick the man on the way out the door, best wishes to you and your family TH.

Tom will still be around, so let’s not try to bury him, figuratively.
I will say that he didn’t mind parting with some big bucks to try to build a winner–who’d have ever “thunk” that a Ranger owner would shell out A-Rod money? A-Rod performed, and well, for us, but O-Chan-Ho…….yikes!

Not until the idiot sport that won’t let you use your hands, beckoned to Tom, that he started coming apart at the seams financially. Who cares a whit whether Liverpool beats Oxford 1-0? BORRRRRRING! It ain’t a sport anyways…….

Back to basics: Tom is going to be a presence, and they ought to let him be in all photo ops, for sentimental reasons, but NOT make any impact on decisions—let Nolan run it. I have maximum faith in Nolan to get the ship into harbor, or at least going to the next level.

Meanwhile, Tom, you shouldn’t have plucked your millions into Liverpool—-STUPID! Otherwise, you’d be sitting pretty as the Rangers seemed to right the ship last year. I do give Tom credit for putting Nolan in place, but SHAME him for ever firing Doug Melvin and Johnny Oates—-STUPID! Well, I guess the Tom vote is, 2 STUPIDS and 1 Bravo for Nolan.

GO Rangers!

Sullivanian hit the nail on the head up above. I say that my opinion is that Hicks is a great businessman. Not such a great owner. Lets just say it bluntly. Stubborn, meddler who at one time was unwilling to listen to his GM. If Hicks would have listened to Melvin, he probably would have already won that title and the team wouldn’t be up for sale. Change for the sake of change, see Jerry Jones, just doesn’t play out. Only after HICKS failed miserably was he willing to take a step back and subjugate his ego did this thing turn around. (What Melvin wanted). What the team is doing now is what Melvin wanted to do years ago before he was fired. Hicks didn’t listen. Lets not feel too sorry for Hicks though, it has always been about the money to him and i am not against that. He paid $250 million for the team will get $500 million minus his debt and probably will still maintain 49+/- %. So he essentially is getting all of his original investment back and still staying involved. This is what HICKS does best. He got to play with his toy for awhile and got an ego stroke for being the owner. I just wish for his sake that he would have listened to Melvin and things could have gone better for him won loss wise.

TR,
Come on man?!?!?!?!?!? Lets be honest. I really like your page and I check it daily, but why do you always take up for whatever move the Rangers make. Maybe so they will keep your link up on their home page? Lets face the music, Tom Hicks will be remembered as maybe the worst owner in baseball history. Look at the payroll of every team in baseball since he took over. You try to say he spent money but did he really? I would be willing to bet he is in the bottom 5 in payroll since he took the team over. If he had the best interest of the Rangers at heart would he be buying some stupid Soccer team from Liverpool, while at the same time telling the fans of the Rangers “he has no money”? All I have to say is “GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE”!!!!!!!!!!!

rangerfan1, “the worst owner in baseball history?” Seriously? Do you remember Brad Corbett? Marge Schott? As a small boy I was a huge Yankees fan…the days of Maris & Mantle. CBS bought the Yanks and they proceeded to finish last year after year after year. I have been quick to point out Hicks’ dumb moves, but he is light years away from being the worst owner in baseball history.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 24,105 other followers