Don’t Worry Be Happy
The text made me realize that the gloom and doom atmosphere that our city and the Ranger fan base have felt recently is understandable, but we have a lot to be proud of. If we take a second and look at that aforementioned big picture, we still have a great management team, a manager players love playing for, and a superb core coming back. There is no telling what will happen this off-season, but up to this point Jon Daniels hasn’t handcuffed his team by signing a superstar to a mega-deal that limits the flexibility of the roster. The Josh Hamilton dilemma looms and Napoli’s return is up in the air as well, but that is what happens every year for all teams. Each year there are key personnel decisions that must be made and those decisions are what make and break a franchise. The Yankees built their team around the Fantastic Four (Jeter, Posada, Petitte, and Rivera) and used big free agent money to supplement the roster in order to keep them competitive year in and year out. The Rangers believe they can maintain the same type of consistency through building a strong farm system and adding key pieces through free agency when needed. The farm system will be the main source of talent and next year, with Profar and Olt, we should get to see the fruits of that system for much of the season.
The other thing that kills a playoff streak sometimes is building a roster around aging veterans. When their age catches up to them it almost always sends that franchise in a tailspin for several years. The Philadelphia Phillies are beginning to feel the effects of that strategy and that is also what happened to the Astros several years ago when their downfall began. This management group has done an excellent job of balancing the veterans with the young kids, which will hopefully sustain the success for several years and maintain a competitive team forever.
So, just like my pal Benny reminds me of quite often, enjoy the fact our team has been one of baseballs best year in and year out recently. They put a great product on the field that fans can be proud of and they appear to be built for the long haul. Once the pain from this season subsides, put your Ranger gear back on and get ready for an exciting 2013.
Jeff Johnson is a Staff Writer for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at Jeff.Johnson@ShutDownInning.com or on Twitter @Houstonhog.