A couple of bits from an interview with Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg:
- Does this season wipe away the Hicks years?
Greenberg: What we’ve done is wipe out a lot of myths that have persisted for a long time. There was a myth you couldn’t pitch in Rangers Ballpark. Gone. That it was too hot. Gone. That we couldn’t hit on the road. Gone. That we couldn’t win in New York. Gone. For a long time, this franchise, for one reason or another, has suffered from a case of mistaken identity.
Your general manager, Jon Daniels, is being mentioned as a candidate to replace Omar Minaya with the Mets. Does the change in ownership make him a free agent to pursue the job?
CG: The contract is not relevant. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. I don’t see any scenario where he leaves here. We want him here.
Has he said anything about wanting to return to his hometown in Queens?
CG: Not that I’ve heard.
I have one quibble, and one wildly speculative opinion ...
The Rangers still haven't proved they can hit on the road. This season, they batted .288/.352/.447 at home ... and .265/.324/.391 on the road. That's not a Rockies split, but it's still fairly large. The Rangers ranked fourth in the American League in home OPS (behind three American League East juggernauts) and seventh in road OPS (behind those same juggernauts, along with the Twins, Rays, and Tigers).
They weren't bad away from Arlington. Not at all. They were exactly league-average. But that was well behind the other three postseason teams, and ultimately they'll probably have to do a little better.
Now, about Jon Daniels ... I met Daniels almost exactly 10 years ago, at Shea Stadium. We sat together, believe this or not, in the first row of the upper deck and saw the Yankees beat the Mets in Game 5 of the World Series. I don't believe I actually sat next to Daniels, which makes me feel a little better about not striking up a meaningful conversation. I like to think I would try harder, if given another shot, but I was quite the introvert in those days.
Anyway, my point is that I don't have any special entree into the heart or mind of Jon Daniels. But I've known people who grew up in the Northeast and wound up, for one reason or another, in the Midwest or in Texas. And I can tell you that most of them harbor thoughts about going home, where they can take the subway and it's not hard to find a real bagel and pizzas don't taste like cardboard topped with spaghetti sauce.
I don't think the Rangers will let Daniels get away. And it sure sounds like the Mets like Sandy Alderson. But if I grew up in Queens and somebody offered me a chance to escape Texas and run the New York Mets ...