Of the Ring, the Light of Europe and the Autumn of 2010

“The lights are going out all over the continent of Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our time.”

That’s what the British politician said on the eve of World War I and no doubt that applies to what has happened to the Rangers this winter.

This off-season has been a disaster for the Rangers, the worst ever in club history. There is no doubt about it. This is a calamity of epic proportions that could rattle the organizations for years to come.

For $272 million, they could have had outfielder Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke on their club for the next 5-6 years. They could have had a dynasty. Instead, that’s all out the window and the Rangers are in for a deep fall.

Hamilton was like the One Ring that Sauron was forever trying to reclaim in The Lord of the Rings.

Said Gandalf, “If he regains it, your valour will be in vain and his victory will be swift and complete, so complete that none can foresee the end while the world lasts. If it is destroyed, then he will fall and his fall will be so low that none can foresee his arising again.”

Hamilton is going to the Angels. The Rangers? The Ring is gone and a bad moon is rising but…

They will always have October, 2010 to look back fondly upon, the glorious victories over the Rays and the Yankees, and the first ever trip to the World Series.gal-alcs-game6-50-jpg

Who will ever forget that team, including the 25 players who played in the World Series.

Who were they and where were they from? Trying to remember…

Cliff Lee – Acquired from the Mariners for four players in a July 7 trade. Departed to Philadelphia after the season for $120 million, leaving a big hole in the Rangers 2011 rotation.

C.J. Wilson – A former fifth round pick who was converted that season from a reliever to a starter and won 15 games.

Colby Lewis – An incredible free agent bargain signed out of Japan.

Tommy Hunter – A supplemental first round pick.

Michael Kirkman – Another fifth round pick.

Darren O’Day – Waiver claim

Mark Lowe – Second player acquired in the Cliff Lee trade. Jon Daniels has this crazy philosophy of trying to get an extra player in some of these big deals. See below.

Alexi Ogando – Minor League Rule 5 pick. Banished for five years and then appeared out of nowhere in Omar Beltre’s shadow.

Darren Oliver – AARP free agent signing

Derek Holland – 25th round pick. The last of the draft-and-follow guys before the rules were changed.

Neftali Feliz – He was pitching in the lowest level of the Minor Leagues when the Rangers acquired him from the Braves in the Mark Teixeira trade.

Bengie Molina – Acquired that summer for reliever Chris Ray and former No. 1 pick Michael Main, a trade that seemed baffling at the time. But Main has since disappeared.

Matt Treanor – Minor trade with the Brewers. Really helped the Rangers beach volleyball team.

Mitch Moreland – 17th round pick

Ian Kinsler – 17th round pick. The Rangers do better in the 17th round than in the second round.

Elvis Andrus – He was in Class A when the Rangers acquired him.

Michael Young – We all remember Esteban Loaiza for the forgotten reliever and the Minor League infielder.

Andres Blanco – Given away by the Cubs

Jorge Cantu – Acquired from the Marlins for pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda. Daniels Trade Deadline overkill. Or was that Christian Guzman.

Josh Hamilton – Everybody also remembers Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera for Hamilton.

Julio Borbon – Supplemental first round pick and still being held hostage by the Rangers.

David Murphy – One of three players acquired for Eric Gagne from the Red Sox. He was at Triple A player at the time.

Jeff Francoeur – He was acquired on Aug. 31 for Joaquin Arias, meaning he was the last trace the Rangers had to show for Alex Rodriguez and their $252 million investment.

Nelson Cruz – Another Daniels specialty: second player acquired from the Brewers in the 2006 Carlos Lee trade. Once designated for assignment and passed over by every Major League team.

Vladimir Guerrero – One-year free agent signing on his last legs, and there wasn’t much left in those legs. But that bat…This was his Last Hurrah.

Who could ever forget that team.

And how could the Rangers ever assemble such another one with all these free agents signing with other clubs. Turn out the lights, the Ring is gone.

20 Comments

Perhaps I am missing something between the lines, but would have rather had something that would cheer us up a little. “Turn out the lights”?

Have you ever heard of symbolism?

Not really in the mood for symbolism – just some positive good news would be nice.

Ok, then why am I still excited to see a very talented team play in Arlington in 2013? Who knows who’s going to win the division from year to year but this team still looks pretty darn good to me. Now if the Rangers dump Kinsler, Beltre, Darvish, Harrison, Cruz and Profar then maybe the Rangers are in for “a deep fall.” The Hamilton move stings, sure, but let’s not overreact or anything.

I believe Mr. Sullivan’s tongue was planted firmly in cheek while writing this…the 2013 squad — as it is today — can absolutely make it to the trade deadline in contention for the West — compare them to the 2010 squad on Opening Day (or the A’s in 2012). We have 3 All Stars in our rotation and the Beltre/Elvis left-side vacuum. We have — at worst — solid pieces everywhere but catcher. I would love to see a young pitcher (Perez? Ross? Buckel? Grimm?) step up and TAKE the 5th rotation spot.

The trade deadline is when/where we can use our ammunition best. By then Colby, Nefti, and Soria will all be back on the field (knock on wood). The Catcher, COF, and SP options are all likely going to be better by trade than this free agent class was (Greinke is good but not an “ace” and paying $25mil to Hamilton in 2017?). Hell maybe Profar is starting in Arlington and no longer held over JD’s head as a trade piece in every discussion (Profar and others for Upton, with Elvis’ future in TX up in the air? Really? I’m happy that didn’t happen, even after missing out on Hamilton).

What were people saying about the 2010 Rangers in December of 2009? It was great to have the media label of the “best team in baseball” last year but what is there to show for it?

Yeah, I was wondering if this was a tongue in cheek article. Taken straight forward it is a little bizarre to say the least. This team is very talented with a strong farm system. We don’t really have the right to mope … too much. We certainly wouldn’t want to change our situation with most other teams.

Kudos well done. All is not lost. Great perspective.

Sent from my iPhone

Ben J. Sexton

Much change was needed, not so sure all the missing pieces are to be positive; but I, for one, believe many subtractions will become positive – depending on how they are replaced. Let’s get going front office.

Fire Daniels now before he messes it up any worse.

If Daniels and the front office really wanted Josh they should have offered what he wanted. They have no reason to be upset with anyone but themselves. That being said, we still have an awesome team. Kinsler, Andrus, Beltre, Murph, Cruz, Moreland, Gentry………..

T.R. Did you kick your only friend the Dog before or after this post? Thanks for crapping on us when we’re already down. Do you already have another job line up? Merry F_____g Christmas to you too from a 25 year season ticketholder

He’s obviously not serious…if anything this is a really well done post telling Rangers fan’s not to panic. If anything the 2010 team that went to the world series did not have a bonafide star of the organization of the caliber like Zack Grienke to begin the season. That didn’t mean the Rangers were done though…so I’m just going to assume that Reading comprehension didn’t resonate well with you in school. Maybe your a quantitative thinker?

Settle down, people. T.R. is trying to provide some perspective that the sky isn’t falling just because Hamilton and Greinke didn’t sign here. There were no big free agents on either of the 2010 or 2011 teams. Daniels just acquired pieces here and there through astute transactions. In other words, he is good at what he does and will likely do it again. Look back on the transactions above and feel a little better going forward.

Not a single long term or high dollar free agent on that list…..there’s more than one way to put a winner on the field.

Bravo Mr. Sullivan.

America’s education system. billions on billions.
Reading comprehension. priceless

Change is needed- front office on down

I also agree that the sky is not falling. In fact, we’ve been hearing for so long about the Rangers’ deep farm system. It’s time, no pun intended, to see some of these guys develop. And, there are still moves to be made. I trust the front office. They are building this thing for the long haul and they are not taking their eye off the ball. The Angels will someday regret these fat contracts and so will the Dodgers. Just ask the Yankees. Patience everyone. Patience.

The rumor here in Vegas, is they are still playing the ’13 season. So far the only ones to throw in the towel are a few Ranger bandwagoners.

I hope your article is sarcasm.

Because my favorite GM in the entire world has set up a plan and, in this off season, he has stayed with it.

Get the best farm system on the planet and coach these kids to play the game the right way. Then promote them to the Major League team when the time comes. They aren’t currency. Trying to buy a championship didn’t work for Angelos’ Orioles, Snyder’s Redskins, Loria’s Eagles, Moreno’s Angels, Magic’s Dodgers… shall I go on?

The Oakland A’s were better than us last year. Because? Because they identified talent; developed that talent; and promoted it better than we did.

All of the local “sports journalists” and all of the national “sports journalists” have been pulling their hair out by the ROOTS because the Rangers haven’t taken over the off season they way they wanted us to take it over. “The Rangers have the free agent market held hostage” was a phrase I saw more than once.

That was never true. The Rangers check with a guy and see if he WANTS to play here (i.e. at a reasonable price – see Beltre, Adrian). If they’re out for the money, we move on. We have other options already in house and those are the guys who deserve the chance to succeed.

If you keep turning them into currency to buy “real” big leaguers, the ones that are left begin to wonder where they’ll go and their vestment in OUR team will wane. If they have an idea they’ll one day get to wear the jersey of THEIR big league team, they’ll learn faster and their attitudes will reflect a pride in THEIR organization.

All this negativity in the press – especially by the guys that cover the Rangers – is all just a result that the team hasn’t given you all the glorious verbage you’re wanting to spruce up you benign entries in the world of journalism – if you can call it journalism.

Stick to The Plan, JD.

And, get a real manager.

Wish I had read this last week, Toby. This is a great post and should be required reading for all the local talking heads running around with their hair on fire. I doubt if all the young talent the Rangers have assembled will live up to expectations. But now is hardly the time to start pulling the plug. Let’s see what happens and allow J.D. to make the necessary adjustments.

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