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Profar is best as a trade piece now for Rangers

The inevitable on Juickson Profar’s lost season appears to have been confirmed.

Just weeks after the Rangers and team doctors suggested he would be out for the rest of the year, the infield phenom himself recently stated it looks like he won’t play at all after re-aggravating his injured shoulder.

Thus the young kid who was supposed to immediately show how much more awesome he was than stupid ol’ Ian Kinsler (the fans and media’s words, not his or mine) won’t play a game in 2014. With Both Profar and the man the Rangers got for Kinsler, Prince Fielder, both gone, that pretty much has to be declared a failure of a trade all around.

So what do they do now?

Profar’s injury forced the Rangers to call up their other can’t miss infield prospect, Rougned Odor, much sooner than they wanted. The good news is that Odor has actually risen to the opportunity, batting .281, and while his production (6 runs and 11 RBI in 22 games) has dropped off, it still shows more than the other infield prospect called up, Luis Sardinas.

But that leads to another problem. Even if the Rangers sign the likes of Kendrys Morales to give Odor some time off and hopefully avoid the rookie wall, there is pretty much no way they can send Odor back to the minors if he keeps this up.

Which is why the subject has to be approached. Jurickson Profar, by this time, may have become an expendable piece that the team simply can no longer hang on to and is probably better as trade bait.

Odor for now seems to have won the spot as the Rangers’ second baseman of the future. So what could they possibly do with Profar now? Convert him to a third baseman and drag him out for another two years until Beltre’s contract is up?

Of course, that’s not the option that so many on the social media seem to want. They see another person as expendable.

Yes, their solution – is too trade Elvis Andrus.

Because continuing to dump the players that were part of those trips to the World Series has been working so well, right? CJ Wilson, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz, Kinsler…. one by one the Rangers have listened to the knee-jerk fans who cry that since that team didn’t get the job done (because of ONE fly ball), every single player from there is worthless and needs to be replaced.

The result has been that they have constantly lost players with the experience of playing on the biggest stage and are now having to wait for younger guys to learn while the rest of the division gets better.

And now Andrus? He’s somehow done as a player that can contribute? Even though he has more runs scored and only three fewer RBI than Shin-Soo Choo?

Please.

If you are giving me a choice between a veteran that has already established himself on this team and a kid that had been extremely over-hyped, I’ll take the veteran.

In Profar, I haven’t seen a Rangers prospect so excessively hyped since Ruben Mateo. And that one didn’t work out too well.

This isn’t just the fact that Profar won’t play at all this season. For one resin or another, Ron Washington didn’t want him in the lineup these past two years. Maybe he sees something that other people don’t.

The Rangers won’t get anything for Profar when the July deadline comes. But if they can convince other teams that he has completely recovered by season’s end, an off-season deal for a catcher or power hitting outfielder could be possible.

It’s time to start looking past the hype and realize that Profar might not have a future here and others have passed him by. I’ve heard people say time and time again that we need to “move on” from all the players the Rangers cast off, even as they succeed elsewhere. But we have to stick with Profar just because people say he’s GUARANTEED to be a star? Nothing’s guaranteed.

It’s time to move on from Jurickson Profar.

Kinsler, other former Rangers are getting the last laugh

And the bleeding doesn’t stop; if anything, it’s getting worse.

The Rangers have more players done for the season than any other Major League club has players on the injured list. That comes after it was announced that Jurickson Profar likely won’t play a game as his shoulder rehab has met further complications – and now Prince Fielder, the guy who was supposed to single-handedly carry the club back to the World Series, is done the year and will have neck surgery, ending the year with a grand total of three home runs and 16 RBI in 42 games.

At the rate things are going, by September it will be the Myrtle Beach Pelicans playing at Globe Life Park – with a Class A level attendance as well.

Profar is fast becoming a concern for me, and looking like he could be the worst failed can’t-miss prospect since Ruben Mateo.

But the big problem is Fielder, who now may have become an albatross around this franchise’s neck, no pun intended. I’m not a medical expert by any stretch, but I know the neck is part of the spine, just like the back. And Matt Harrison’s career has been completely derailed by back surgeries. So I can’t hold my breath that Prince can come back from this operation and be anything close to player he once was. And this is a guy the Rangers have to pay around $130 million over the next six years after this.

It gets worse: Fielder supposedly had neck problems since last year and the Tigers surely knew something. And whiz kid Jon Daniels didn’t bother making Fielder taking a physical when the deal was made, and now is trying to use the sheepish excuse of “if we’d issued a physical, we still likely wouldn’t have discovered anything like this.”

Meanwhile, Ian Kinsler, the player who was supposedly finished and the Rangers had to get rid of because he was definitely never going to do anything? Only batting .326 now with 34 21 RBI in 44 games.

We have no choice to chalk this trade up as a failure now, and add Kinsler to the growing list of former players starring elsewhere while the Rangers are sadly heading down the road to nowhere.

The frustration on how this season has gone so far is not just the number of players the Rangers have shelved; it’s how many former Rangers are shining elsewhere while this team plummets, making the club look even more foolish.

How would the Rangers look if they had any of these guys right now?

Nelson Cruz: 15 home runs, 43 RBI in 45 games.

Darren O’Day: 0.95 ERA in 19 innings.

Koji Uehara: 1.02 ERA in 17.2 innings, nine for nine in save appearances.

Joe Nathan: 2-0, 11 of 14 in save appearances.

And yes, I’m sorry to bring THIS guy up, but…

CJ Wilson: 6-3, 3.00 ERA in 10 starts.

Rangers fans love to praise Jon Daniels for being the anti-Jerry Jones, mainly that he shows no long-term loyalty to players, treating them with a “what have you done lately?” attitude and casting them aside while looking for the player to actually improve the club, while Jerry gives long-term deals to players and sees them decline and eat up payroll.

Now, I would never say anyone should run a team like Jerry, anyone who knows me knows that. But JD now appears to perhaps be going too far to the other extreme. And this lack of loyalty to players may finally be biting Daniels in the rear, as his replacements are simply not playing up to snuff while those he spurned are having the last laugh.

I never held a grudge against Kinsler for his “I hope they lose 162 games” comment, because it takes stronger words than that to get me butthurt.

But in some way, Kinsler has to be enjoying this. And, barring a miracle turnaround with their Plan E players, Rangers “fans” are going to have to endure Ian’s team in the postseason while theirs is sitting at home.

What’s in a Name? Rangers Ballpark Isn’t Sacred

Here we go again.

For the second time in its history, the Texas Rangers have sold out their ballpark’s naming rights, announcing the park will now be known as Globe Life Park in Arlington.

“You can probably guess how my Facebook feed was yesterday once the announcement was made. The most popular comment was the simply put, “I’ll still always call it Rangers Ballpark, dammit!!!”

And I just rolled my eyes, just like I did 10 years ago. Why?

Because I still remember back in 1993 when the previous ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Tom Schieffer first named the place The Ballpark in Arlington. NO ONE liked it. I remember a column in the Star-Telegram – I think it was Gil LeBreton that wrote it – comparing the ballpark to the Roman Coliseum and suggesting that whoever came up with that name should be thrown to the lions.

Then, once Tom Hicks took over and sold the rights to Ameriquest in 2004, suddenly everyone like the old name. they all celebrated when the Rangers had to take down the name three years later due to Ameriquest going under. Now, let the crying begin once more.

Now, I do have criticisms about naming rights on stadiums, but the criticism falls with the companies. I’ve never known why they think giving that much money just to slap their name on a building is a good advertising investment. If they’re willing to pay it, the clubs can go ahead and take it, but the fact that so many of these businesses have shut down afterwards seems to say it’s counterproductive. I’ve always felt that’s why Southwest Airlines didn’t buy the rights to the Dallas arena; they’re not known for making bad financial decisions.

I understood the dislike for the name “The Ballpark,” and to be honest, I was not crazy about the name “Rangers Ballpark” either. Maybe it’s just me, but slapping the team name on the stadium just says “We couldn’t think of anything else.”

Heck, I think “College Park Center” can come off as too generic a name, and I’m hoping UTA comes up with a better name down the line (I have an idea; check back with me in another year).

But so many people, for some reason these names are sacred. For so many sports fans, who hold up record books to a higher standard than The Bible, putting a company’s name on the building where they play is sacrilege. And with it comes the fear that one day, baseball uniforms will become the moving billboards that soccer jerseys and race cars are.

Therein lies the hypocrisy of many sports fans, a number of which appear to be within the Rangers’ brethren. They complain when ticket prices go up. They complain when parking rates go up. They complain when things like stadiums or uniforms have corporate tie-ins.

And yet they still expect the teams to spend spend spend and do whatever it takes to win, because it’s been assumed forever that money automatically equals championship. So what, the club’s owners are morally obligated to just throw away their own money and not expect a payout in return, just to let a bunch of other people live vicariously through their business to feel good about their own lives?

This Rangers ownership is not going to do that. Once again, this shows that Ray Davis and Bob Simpson are determined to not have the club fall into the bankruptcy it was in when they bought it back in 2010.

With a franchise that is always at risk of going back into the red in ticket sales with just one losing season, and a television deal that looks sweet but is almost certainly not guaranteed (with the Astros hating their Comcast deal and on the verge of bringing in Nolan Ryan, I’m more scared than ever FSSW may walk from the Rangers), the Rangers owners have to take every step possible.

So go ahead. Complain to the skies above about how putting a corporate name on the Texas Rangers ballpark is an affront to the baseball gods

Then tell me how those postseason games aren’t as fun anymore with the place sporting that name. They won’t be, right?

Maybe It’s Good to Not Take Losing as a Big Deal

I’m still taking the prospect of Prince Fielder as the Rangers’ first baseman with a grain of salt.

I am still very concerned how much such a presence in the lineup will hinder the club’s running game and defense, and only seeing results on the field will assuage me of these fears.

But for what it’s worth, there has already been one aspect about Cecil’s boy that can cause me to smile, and amazingly, it’s something that might rub others the wrong way.

One of the things that apparently caused Prince to wear out his welcome in the Motor City was what many perceived to be a lackadaisical attitude, particularly how he handled not just the Tigers’ inability to get the job done but his own postseason struggles. In 40 postseason at-bats this past year, Fielder failed to drive in one run. Then, once the Tigers were finished and Boston moved on to the World Series, his last words were, ““It’s not really tough for me, man. For me, it’s over, bro.”

This could be something that may ring familiar to some in North Texas.

One thing that supposedly started the questions about Tony Romo and his commitment was how he took the Cows getting booted in their one playoff game, at home, in his second year as their quarterback. He also more or less said he didn’t look at it as the end of the world.

This did not sit well with quite a few people who do take the success of the Cows as the be-all-end-all of their lives. How can Romo be so cavalier about a loss that was so devastating to those whose tickets pay his salary?

Maybe because people like Romo and Fielder have a bit more perspective than we do – BECAUSE they are the ones out on that field.

Too often we live vicariously through our sports teams, linking their on-field success with our own personal worth and success of our own lives. This can be especially true if our own lives are not at a point that we are that happy with.

I should know all too well. In 2011, I lost my biggest writing job. I still have not found anything close to what I was making with it since. Just about every day, I look at my own personal struggles and wonder what I did wrong.

So yes, the Rangers coming so close and having it taken away that year stung exceptionally hard. But dwelling on it isn’t going to change it, and Nellie making that catch ultimately wasn’t going to make tons of people come asking me to do work for them.

I had to move on from that season, but Nellie and the Rangers had to even more. So does every athlete that fails in the end.

Because they can’t let such a loss fester in their minds, as they have to get back up and go again next year.

Otherwise, you get people like Donnie Moore, who never got over blowing a save that cost the Angels the pennant in 1986 (largely because the fans never let him forget it) and finally took his own life three years later.

For me, it shows he has perspective.

Fielder had other issues going on in 2013, mostly wondering what would happen with his family as he struggled through a divorce. This can be a stressing issue for even a millionaire baseball player, and while being on the field can distract from that, it can’t completely eliminate its importance.

So yes, there can always be issues that are bigger for athletes than their immediate success on the field, just like there will be issues for all of us bigger than success at our jobs.

Fielder is reportedly ready to begin fresh with the Rangers. His words tell me that he might be thankful for other things in his life besides whether or not his career ends with a ring. And on the weekend when we all gave thanks, perhaps that is food for thought.

Lets all try to remember that just because an athlete doesn’t take every loss like the worst disaster in the world, it doesn’t mean he’s not committed. In fact, that could be something we could learn from.

Rangers Have Other Options to Sign Besides Just McCann

Two years later, many Mavericks fans are still pining over the loss of Tyson Chandler.

Samuel Dalembert’s 8.5 points and 7.3 rebounds through four games, while at least solid for the Mavs’ system, still probably isn’t quelling those gripes. Not until a Dalembert-led Mavs team is hoisting the same trophy that Chandler’s team did.

So what does this have to do with the Rangers and their off-season plans?

If there is one position in baseball that might be as important as a center in basketball, it just might be catcher. Some would argue about an ace pitcher, but given that you can only throw those out there every five days, few can impact a game more than a backstop that can handle a pitching staff, shut down or at least limit an opponent’s running game and possibly contribute with the bat.

The Rangers are still suffering from a revolving door at catcher ever since they let go of Pudge Rodriguez back in 2002. (That revolving door even involved bringing Pudge back for two months in 2009.) It’s actually impressive that they won consecutive pennants with two different catchers.

Which is why letting go of Mike Napoli was definitely one of Jon Daniels’ bigger mistakes. Seeing Nap celebrate in a Red Sox uniform this year (albeit playing at first base much of the time) didn’t help matters at all.

But hey, it’s all going to work out right? I mean, this is the year when the Rangers are finally going to open the purse strings and shell out all the money in the world to lure Brian McCann away from Atlanta, and then everything will be fine, right.

Hold the phone there.

McCann may be the most coveted free agent by Rangerville since, well, since they thought giving half a billion dollars to Alex Rodriguez was a good idea.

How well did that work out again?

It’s the same old lesson that virtually no one learns every year – signing big free agents to gluttonous contracts is NOT the path to success. After all, just how much of a threat have the Angels been the last two years in the games that count after winning the supposed January war each year? Arte Moreno is running his club into the ground with his reckless ways, and don’t think he’s learned anything. Odds are the Halos will overpay again for either McCann or Robinson Cano (another guy some think the Rangers actually have a shot at).

The Rangers’ best solution, instead, may instead be to inflict turnabout on the Red Sox by poaching their catcher. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, since being dumped by the Rangers in 2010, proved himself to be a serviceable backstop by playing more than 100 games with Boston each of the last three years. There is also the Phillies’ Carlos Ruiz out there, with an All-Star appearance as recently as 2012.

That isn’t to say there might not be some concerns about both. It could be a red flag that Salty had career highs in at-bats, batting average, hits and RBI in his free agent year. And Ruiz, who the Rockies are reportedly pursuing heavily, has rumors of a negative attitude.

But here’s one thing to keep in mind about both those players – nether was tendered a qualifying offer by their teams, meaning the Rangers won’t forfeit draft picks if they sight either one.

Don’t think that’s not important to JD and this organization. The ability to keep stocking that farm system remains every bit as important as the short term, and they don’t want to give up those draft picks easily. Think letting those picks go is no big deal? The number one reason the Angels’ system is so bare is because of all the draft picks they forfeited to give those ginormous albatross contracts to the likes of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

Nothing they get this off-season will solve their problem beyond the short run. Above all else, if the Rangers want to stop this revolving door long-term, they need a catcher to come from within, like they had with Pudge.

So, as Norm Hitzges suggested yesterday, they really need just a 2-3 year window before Jorge Alfaro will hopefully be ready for a big league debut. After seeing catcher be one position the Ranger shave failed to develop for years, it would be a welcome sight.

Last off-season, people were definitely miffed that the Rangers settled for C-list talent in the free agent-trade market, and now more than ever they will be demanding A-list. But the truth is, being smart and grabbing B-list.

People keep telling me to trust in JD’s plan, even now that the “baseball guy” Nolan Ryan is no longer present. Well, then, you have to know that plan hasn’t involved always grabbing the best free agents and overspending. So nobody get their hopes up and decide it’s McCann or bust this off-season.