Monday Morning Manager…the World Series

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

So now we sift through the ashes, conduct the post-mortems and figure out what went wrong. But it’s up to Jon Daniels and his cadre to try and fix it while we wait for Spring Training.

Some 31/2 months until pitchers and catchers report, but at least we should get through All Saints Day before pining for endless PFP. After all, the 49ers are 6-1 and how about that team down the street.

One thing about the World Series is everybody has an opinion and the bigger the bullhorn the better, who can climb the highest pedestal and shout the loudest is always important, far more so than actual perspective.

Good to see the Buffalo Bills have not been forgotten and what about those Minnesota Vikings, or is that too far in the past for most. Maybe they will be remembered when the Hail Marys are being recited on All Saints Day.

The Rangers lost the World Series? Why? Because they couldn’t close out Game 6. Game 7 was almost superfluous unless they could have held that 2-0 lead for a couple of innings.

So…what went wrong? Time to revive Monday Morning Manager to sort it all out.

1. What do you think is the single biggest reason why the Rangers couldn’t beat the St. Louis Cardinals?

2. What bothers you the most about the Game 6 loss?

3. Is it time to move Neftali Feliz into the rotation?

4. How aggressive should the Rangers be with C.J. Wilson?

5. What would be your No. 1 priority as GM this winter.

 

21 Comments

1.They were good and the pitching staff stepped up when it messed to most. They also had the umpires on their side with having 83% of missed calls go their way in game 7.
2. The fact that we had it won a needed only a single strike twice.
3. I think it is time to move him there, he scares me to much as a closer.
4. They should not be aggressive at all! Let somebody else overpay Wilson and deal with his inability to throw strikes when he needs to the most.
5. Number one priority is to find an ace or trade Torealba and some prospects to make the starting staff even better.

1. Honestly? The bats went to sleep right as the pitching staff ran out of gas. When playing a game 7, you can’t win with 2 runs unless your starter is Roy Halladay.

2. Feliz giving up a loud triple in the bottom of the ninth after getting to a two-strike count. His first blown post-season save couldn’t have come at a worse moment.

3. I think so. Napoli has got him working his secondary pitches anyway, so this is the time to change his role. After all, he might feel a little better about moving on to a different role after game 6.

4. Wilson is a workhorse, but still “just” a 1A type pitcher. If the Rangers are aggressive about getting someone as a “true” number 1 (think, Jered Weaver type guy), they have options. For example, if they packaged Lewis and Harrison for an “ace”, they would want to resign Wilson and leave one spot open for the battle between Feldman and Feliz with the loser returning to the ‘pen. Imagine a hypothetical rotation of Kershaw, Wilson,Ogando, Holland and Feldman… that’s freaking intimidation. If the Rangers are just looking at Wilson, he isn’t what they need at the top of their rotation yet. Maybe you give him a deal (at a discount, I would assume) for a couple years to see if he takes the “next step”, but I would only do that if I could get another Cliff Lee type guy to be a number 1. That said, I hope the Rangers aren’t planning on throwing away CJ Wilson in favor of a bidding war for Yu Darvish…

5. Paying the team and locking up the core players. The rotation stuff can wait a little while while we work out deals with Napoli and the rest of the Arbitration crew… maybe even an extension for Hamilton and Washington… you never know. But I do think that Daniels knows what he is doing.

Last year’s World Series: the Rangers just got beat by better pitching.
This year’s World Series: the Rangers just beat themselves (in every facet of the game – pitching -especially the bullpen, defensively, lack of timely offense and poor game management)
All those other questions – don’t have the baseball energy or interest to answer right now.

1. 41 plus walks plus 3-4 HBP in 7 games. Too many free baserunners. Pitchers lacking the warrior spirit of Carpenter, Halladay, Nolan Ryan, etc.
2. see answer #1
3. Need a leader in the rotation. Is it him? Let’s find out
4. Only aggressive enough to drive up price for Angels
5. Sign Michael Cuddyer and Roy Oswalt

It all comes down to the fact that he had two pitchers ready for Game 7 and he didn’t start Holland (whom he should have held out of game 6) because it might hurt Harrison’s feelings. I love Wash, but he BLEW IT!

1. Mental approach-Cards caught lightning in a bottle and the Rangers pitched scared.
2. It happened.
3. I really don’t know. Does he have the “stuff” to be a starter. He doesn’t look as smooth and effortless when he throws as he did when he first came up.
4. Make a run but don’t mortgage the farm.
5. Keep your eye on the ball and your foot on the gas pedal. It’s all about making this team even better. We have a big hole at first base and the free agents out there are intriguing. I don’t think Pujols is going anywhere but Fielder might look good in a Rangers uniform.

This isn’t one of the questions but it is one of mine. What about Michael Young? What happens to him?

@ Jim: Wash was trying to win game 6 and if you remember, Holland came in there and kept us in that game. If you can’t trust Harrison to start game 7, why was he in the rotation to begin with? And, exactly which Derek Holland do you think would’ve shown up for game 7. One great game, as we have seen from him all year, doesn’t guarantee 2, especially in a game 7 scenario after that devastating game 6. The best decisions are always second guesses because they come with the benefit of having seen the other option played out. If the Rangers had won game 6, none of this is being discussed. That ought to tell you something about the credibility of the criticism. The bad decisions are the ones that don’t work. But, there are no mulligans in baseball. Just next year.

1. bullpen. we were leaning on these guys as one of the biggest reasons that we should be able to win this series, and it let us down. Ogando was struggling, feliz was REALLY struggling, the only guy that I was comfortable with wash bringing out was feldman and holland in game 6 (who he should of saved and had for potential game 7).
2. The managerial decision making in game6 really baffles me. 2 base runners on and wash is planning on pinch hitting colby. bases loaded and he puts colby out in the batters box….? putting Feliz in to close the game when he hasn’t been able to find the strike zone all series. sure he was 7/7 on save opportunities, but he was shaky at best, and the world freaking series is on the line. I dont care who your “closer” is, if he can’t find the strike zone against hitters like pujols and berkman, they aren’t gonna swing at it. and he’s gonna give up runs.
3. I’m not really sure. Possibly, he’s a young guy, and I know it was the world series and the pressure obviously got to him. (he couldn’t find the strike zone for squat in all of the games he pitched). If he can learn to really locate his fast ball consistently than i say yes. his ability to be a good pitcher hinges on his ability to throw that pitch in my opinion.
4. Not. While CJ did win us a lot of regular season games, we’re going to have to pay a lot to keep him, and I don’t think he really fits the role of #1. two post seasons in a row he’s made it very plain that he has trouble performing on the big stage. (1st pitch hits furcal out of the pen? really? first pitch?) Would much rather dump him and have oswalt for a season or more to bring some sort of veteran attitude in our pen. Lot of young guys in there, with a lot of talent, and no real experience.
5. My no1 would be looking at the market, and beating the bushes to find potential deals. Moreland is a decent first baseman, but you have to admit there is kind of a hole there. If we could sign fielder, or pujols without breaking our bank that would be tremendous. I would however prefer to focus on starting pitching. We have two middle relivers (tattyama and uehara sp?) that didn’t make the WS roster, bundling them and maybe Colby for a really big name #1 guy (might be putting too much out there) would be really beneficial. Holland is the future of that rotation, and if we could find a veteran for him to learn from, I think we would only benefit from it.

1. An unrelenting powerful lineup to face our tired out and or ineffective bullpen.
2. Like everyone else that we lost. Bullpen pitchers who we had counted on let us down. But I’m not destroyed…it was great baseball.
3. Absolutely not. I heard Nolan Ryan say the kid had to develop other pitches than his fast ball. He said that early in the season. Here we are at the end of the season with arguably the best hitters in baseball against us and the kid throws fast ball after fast ball with predictable results. No…I don’t think he’s coachable.
4. The pundits are talking about 100 million??? The money could be better spent on Prince Fielder….we give up five or six and score 6 or 7. (I didn’t agree with the signing of Beltre but look what he did for us….by the way and this isn’t easy….I was wrong about that.)
5. Look for a starter to fall through the cracks (Remember Bueherle is only a 13 game winner) and Sign Prince Fielder… Once that’s done get value for Moreland, Feldman, the Uehara and his classmate. Sign Hamilton long term…figure out a way to keep Napoli long term. Figure out a way to keep Michael Young happy.

1. The starters weren’t as good as they were during the regular season. Either that or the manager didn’t have as much confidence in them.
2. Why did not Mike Adams start the eighth inning instead of Holland?
3. Put him in the rotation
4. Rather see what Feliz can do
5. Jonathan Papelbon please

1) The bullpen that was so good against the Rays and Tigers miss stepped and the rotation was inconsistent.
2) The unmade catch in right field.
3) Not unless he comes to Spring Training with a usable third pitch having magically materialized. I also still have questions about his durability. I fully expect national and local pundits to continue to ignore his lack of refined secondary stuff, his command issues and the fact that he wasn’t very good in 2011 until after mid June. This will allow them to once again insist that the dumb ol’ Rangers are considering using him as a closer because they don’t realize he’s more valuable as the ace he would undoubtedly be if made into a starter.
4) Depends on the market. If there is a bidding war with the Yankees, it’s probably best to explore other options. 5/85 would be the limit if it were up to me. Some will maintain that his postseason performance hurt his value. The Rangers were 2-2 in games he started against Verlander and Carpenter. If there’s not a better option available, CJ has to be the primary offseason target.
5) Re-signing CJ Wilson or coming up with a suitable replacement. I would say a front-line starter, but I don’t realistically expect those types of players to be available. The Yankees will do whatever it takes to keep Sabathia, so I don’t think he’s an option from a pragmatic standpoint.

1. Cruz couldn’t run down a fly ball to close the WS is one of many bothersome moments!
2. The Rangers had a chance to win the game twice; and couldn’t close the deal.
3. Yes. If he doesn’t work out, move him back.
4. Let him go; show no interest in him.
5. Re-building the team’s confidnece and emotions.

The list is too painful to enumerate. I just have one request. Please, please, please, just span the globe to find some pitchers who can last more than 4 innings and get the ball over the plate and out of the dirt. Ok, two requests. Please send Orgando (and the rest of our high-powered “closers”) so far away that I will never have to see their faces on national television ever again. K? Thx.

Ogando is not a closer he’s a starter…we have only one closer.

1. What do you think is the single biggest reason why the Rangers couldn’t beat the St. Louis Cardinals?

Youthful nerves

2. What bothers you the most about the Game 6 loss?

That Josh Hamilton should have been the hero… And wasn’t.

3. Is it time to move Neftali Feliz into the rotation?

It’s time to consider it. I worry about him getting broke down like Ogando obviously did in the second half.

4. How aggressive should the Rangers be with C.J. Wilson?

No more aggressive than any other pursuer. Maybe even less.

5. What would be your No. 1 priority as GM this winter.

Consistent starting pitching.

1. Cruz couldn’t track down a ball that even a halfway decent outfielder catches. Nefti didn’t have it, but Cruz has to go all out on that play.

2. Two strikes with a two run lead, twice!

3. Not unless you address the closer role.

4. Not much. He’s really a #2.

5. #1 starter without trading the farm. They didn’t get much out of the bullpen help in the postseason like we thought they would.

1. What do you think is the single biggest reason why the Rangers couldn’t beat the St. Louis Cardinals?
The mistakes the Cardinals were making – how could we lose? I thought we had many more “incredible” plays then they did. They just did “okay”. We made mistakes, they made mistakes – but they made more and didn’t have as many incredible plays.

I really believe it all came down to Game 6. Game one and two were tight, 3 was a blowout – 4 a shut out, and 5 tight, also. Game 6 – we were as close as you can get without actually winning, and the bullpen didn’t deliver. That’s it. As part of the bullpen situation – the number of frigging walks that were eventual runs. How was the Cardinal hitting as a total, really? Not as good as ours.

2. What bothers you the most about the Game 6 loss?

I was there, at the game, at Busch Stadium, ready to run down to behind the Ranger dugout and cheer the boys on when they received the trophy. I was expecting it for a couple inning, and then within one strike – twice. Edge of seat, believing, this is actual going to happen. I not only get to see the Rangers in a World Series game, I get to see them win! Talk about feeling of having victory snatched from your waiting hands.

3. Is it time to move Neftali Feliz into the rotation?

Is it just because I only saw post season Ranger’s game because I live in Illinois, but Feliz as a starter, really? Same for Ogando, seriously? I guess owner, manager and coach know more about that.

4. How aggressive should the Rangers be with C.J. Wilson?

It’s a business decision. I don’t know.

5. What would be your No. 1 priority as GM this winter.

These guys got it. They did great all year long. They have the winning stuff, obviously, or they wouldn’t have made it to the World Series. Focus on mediation – because it seems like it all came down to nerves of the pitchers. That, and we could use a BIG hitter. I think Andrus and Kinsler are great, and could be greater. Cruz, Beltre, Hamilton – also great, could be greater. These guys were an amazing team.
I have always felt as a Ranger fan – especially in 96, 98 and 99, that the big wins never seem to be easy for the Rangers. We have to fight, and fight hard. Maybe these guys need to have a little more faith in themselves? Believing is seeing, not the other way around.

1. The Rangers had to win game 6 to win the series. I knew once they had lost game 6 that they would lose games 7 also. You never want to play a 7th games of the world series on the road ever. The deck is stacked against you in that scenario.
2. That The Rangers couldn’t get that 27th out twice will haunt me until they can return the world series and win it. That and only that will take this painful memory away. They were a strike or a fly ball out away twice from the biggest moment in Texas Rangers baseball history and couldn’t get it done. The baseball God’s gave us 2 chances to win the world series and the Rangers just plain choked. That is something I never thought I would be able to say about a team that has played so hard and given me a lot to cheer about for the last 2 years now. I still believe the Rangers were the better team and we got 2 chances to close the deal and they blew it.
3. Unless the Rangers sign Jonathan Papelbon or Heath Bell I actually think the Rangers need to leave Nefy in the closer role and stop moving him back and forth. Remember it took him until September to look like he did last year. We have a ton of great young talented starting arms on the way in the minor they will need a spot in the rotation when they get here. I believe Nefy is the Texas Rangers version of Mariano Rivera leave him in that role.
4. I would offer C.J. no more than 5 for 75. I believe after his post season his price dropped and I think this is a generous offer.
5. I would actually like to see the Rangers hang on to C.J. and sign or trade for another qualtiy starting pitcher also. James Shield or Mark Buehrle might look really good in the top of the Rangers rotation and move Ogando back to the setup role in the bullpen. And if none of that happens I would sign Prince Fielder as a back up plan like the Rangers had to do last year when the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre. I believe that the Rangers are poised for an interesting an active off-season. Most of this team is locked up for at least next year and 2013. Josh is the only significant Ranger that I can think of with less the 2 years left on their deals. I do think you will see the Rangers front office get some of the key members of this team locked up to long term deals. There is no doubt that the Rangers will be in position to make another playoff run next year. They are the best team in the American league right now and if they add the right pieces in the off-season with what the core group of guys just went through they will be strong contender again. I think you will see an even hungrier team in 2012. These Rangers could be the this decades version of the 90’s Atlanta Braves. i think the Rangers are positioned to have more World Series appearences in the near future. I don’t know if the Rangers will win it. But they will have more chances as long as they can stay healthy and keep playing baseball like they have to last 2 seasons.

1. their starting pitching was exposed just as it was in the ALDS an ALCS. they were able to overcome Tampa and Detroit because of their subpar line ups. S Louis didnt have that problem. Dominant pitching beats great hitting as Derek Holland showed us following the 16-7 drubbing
in game 3. 2. Very poor in game managment, the manager must have his team focused and prepared for the tasks they are faced with, then put the right players in position for success. his ridiculous series up pitching changes clearly shows us that he himself was not prepared, how do you put Oliver (who is at best your 10th best pitcher) in to close out the world series, you”ve gone with Feliz all year and then you panic after he doesn’t close in the 9th, Also were there no voices of reason on the bench Jackie Moore. 3. The time has come for feliz. he has a special arm and is potentially the ace we have been waiting for. dont plan on the Josh Johnsons, Clayton Kershaws and Felix Hernandezs of the world to come to town any time soon. Lets face it NO GM in his right mind is going to deal an ace to the Rangers right now without having us empty the farm, and JD is quickly deveoping a reputation for fleecing other supposedly intelligent GM”s, who wants to be the next GM that he exposes ? our ace is coming from within. 4. make CJ a legitimate offer 4 for 56 or 5 for 70, but you know some desperate GM will offer 100 mil and he walks. 5. develope off speed pitches for Ogando and Feliz, Ogando was dominat early in the season before the rest of the league figured out that he didnt have a legitimate off speed pitch and Feliz has the same issues.Holland, Nefti and Ogando have the makings of a positively imposing trio of TORP starters, then Let JD work his usual magic of scouting other teams rosters better than they themselves then giving then pennies on the dollar for talented players to fill the rest of our holes.

Good observations/comments Slippery 24……….

@ Rodney B and exactly which Derek Holland do you think would have showed up ?
We will never know. what we do know is that our only chance of winning a game 7 in ST Louis was for the good Dutch to show up, when he is on he is as good as they come. what had we seen from Harrison to make anybody think he had a snowballs chance against that lineup in a game of that magnitude ? Dutch on the other hand had dominated them in a game that he simply had respond with a shutdown performance if there would be any chance of us winning the series. he gave us back momentum after being embarrassed in game 3.
nobody questions the fact that Wash was trying to win the series but the question for me is did he make enough wise decisions to put us in position to win and the answer is NO. you dont send your 4th best starter out there to win the biggest game in your franchises history, St Louis didnt have a problen telling Lohse to take a seat. i believe in trying to build confidence in players also but you cant concern yourself with the long term affects that hard decisions will have on players when faced with once in a lifetime situations, they didnt even have His butt on the post season roster last year. i agree that Harrison made major strides this year but STL had absolutely no fear of him and were probably salavating at the prospects of facing him again after pounding him on his own terf in game 3. so your are indeed right ….. who knows which Holland would have showed up ? …… we will never know……… what we do know is which Harrison showed up. and i dont want to here that lame exuse Hindsight is 20/20 vision or the other popular excuse We have the benefit of seeing that the decision didnt work so now we can calll it a bad decision. Ranger Fans all over town called this a bad decision way before game 7 ever happened, which happens to be the most frustrating to me. it seems that the fan base had a better feel for the situation than our beloved manager did !!!

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