Rangers endure winter of discontent
Josh Hamilton's exit highlights disastrous offseason in which Texas can't close
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' offseason, thus far, has been an epic failure.
Most fans indulge in hope, faith and optimism while viewing their hometown team through rose-tinted Ray-Ban. Those of us who deal in reality understand the Rangers have taken a step back.
In the American League West, the Oakland A's have a better starting rotation and the Los Angeles Angels have a better lineup and bullpen.
The beauty of sports, of course, is that winning the offseason guarantees nothing. Heck, the Angels were supposed to win last season and didn't even make the playoffs.
But there's no way to look at the Rangers' offseason and come to any conclusion other than it has been a disaster.
No one wants to hear about how the Rangers made competitive offers to Zack Greinke. Or how Josh Hamilton didn't give them a chance to turn down the five-year, $125 million deal the Angels offered after he turned down the Rangers' deal for $100 million over four years.
The Ben & Skin Show
Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Ben and Skin to talk about Josh Hamilton's departure. JD doesn't like the way the relationship ended, but he doesn't hold any grudges toward Josh.
If the Rangers wanted him, then they should've signed him. They've had a couple of months to get a deal done.
Signing Hamilton was never high on my list because once a player quits on a team when it needs him most -- and that's what Hamilton did last season -- you always wonder when he'll quit again.
Again, that's reality.
The Rangers are supposed to be one of the best organizations in baseball and they have set a new standard of excellence with three consecutive trips to the playoffs.
We must hold them to it on and off the field.
Jon Daniels remains a terrific general manager, and the Rangers have a deep farm system and a couple of billionaire owners who allow them to compete like a big-market team, as they should.
For now, the Rangers are reeling.
This is about Daniels and the Rangers not being able to close any deals after all the chatter about how they controlled the recent winter meetings. The reality is the Rangers have lost a bevy of big-time contributors from last season's team and haven't replaced any of them.
Just a few days ago, the Rangers were supposed to be on the verge of signing Greinke and trading for outfielder Justin Upton -- at least if you listen to folks who are supposed to know these things.
And if they could get Hamilton for the right number, then the Rangers would have an offseason for the ages -- even if you think Hamilton quit on Texas three different times in the last three weeks last season.
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Can you say golden sombrero?
And just like that, you could easily argue the Rangers won't make the playoffs next season. Unless, of course, you can continue to trust in Daniels.
He has been adept at making key trades and moves that had the Rangers playing in the World Series in 2010 and 2011.
Daniels didn't just suddenly become incompetent. Still, this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business.
The Rangers didn't win a ring when they had a chance, so it's not like fans have memories of a championship parade or banner-raising ceremony at the ballpark to ease the disappointment.
All they have is faith that Daniels and Nolan Ryan will do something of note to make the Rangers a better team before pitchers and catchers report in February.