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…
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.