Thursday, April 24, 2008

Open letter to Tom Hicks

Mr. Hicks,

Really? This is the baseball team I live and die for? Right now, we (and I do mean "we", because I am apart of this journey) have the 2nd worst record in Major League Baseball. And you know what kills me? I really don't care. I am the fan that you love. I am the guy that lives 3000 miles away and have watched every single game via the MLB Extra Innings Package. I am the guy that walked into the Lids in Times Square and whipped the dude behind the counter for the perfect 7 5/8s home Ranger Hat. I am the guy that the 5th game of the season, I ordered my new 2008 Texas Ranger t-shirt. In other words, you don't give a fuck about me. I am there, buddy. I love the Rangers, and most certainly always will.


The other 92.4% of the people out there are not me. They are the people that go to MAYBE 5 games a year and MIGHT switch to Josh Lewin and Tom Grive (two of the best baseball guys on tv, by the way) on Thursday night, but only if former Aggie Great Jason Castro has already preformed on American Idol. And to tell you the truth, they are the people you need. But here is the problem. You, as an owner, suck. As i see it, all you care about is the bottom line. AND THATS COOL, because you are a business man first and foremost. But business men is not what makes sports great. What makes sports great is owners who care about winning and losing just as much as me. And quite frankly, that's not you. But that's why I'm here, to plead to you to change your ways.

I realize you were burned by the ARod deal. Who could have known that he would be the biggest douchebag in the history of sports? REAL fans saw what was happening and understand it. But that doesn't mean you give up. Look. We all realize that we weren't going to win the American League West this year. It just wasn't going to happen. But stop putting a team out there that has no chance to win. Ben Broussard sucks and will not be here next year. Neither will Frank Catalanotto or Gerald Laird. So stop playing them. I understand that you cant "put up the white flag" by playing all young guys because, supposedly, no one will come out and watch. Well guess what? No one cares right now.

So here is what I propose you do:
Get rid of all the dead weight. We all know that we have a ton of young talent. Well, lets get that young talent up here. I would be 100 times more exacted to watch Chris Davis at the plate than Ben Broussard hit into another fucking double play. Same goes with Brandon Boggs, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Eric Hurley, Taylor Teagarden, and Nelson Cruz. Sit down and REALLY look who is going to be on this team in July of 2009. If you cant see them on that team, get rid of them.

Fire Ron Washington. Sure hes a fiery guy and cusses alot. But hes just not a Major League Manager. Some of the mistakes that are made in the field and some of the game-to-game decisions that are made lead me to know that he is not the right guy for the team. I wish I could tell you who is the right person for the job, but I just don't know. Which brings us to the 3rd point.

Keep Jon Daniels. This guys seems to know what is going on. Sure he made some VERY questionable trades early on. But he seems to have to learned from those mistakes and I trust him to keep making the desisions to lead us to the best years in Rangers history. The deals he made in the Texaira trade and the Gagne trade were absolutely brilliant. What we got in return is going to be the core of what is hopefully a multi-pennanet winning club. Keep the young kid around because he will help lead us to the promise land.

Like I said, I am there for the long haul. But if you don't want to lose the other fans, things need to change, and change quickly.

Go Rangers,
Zach Ballenger


Tiny B said...


Surprisingly you make a lot of sense with this post. However, I need to point out several things in which I disagree.

Had you written this same e-mail at this point in the season last year (and it would have been appropriate then as well), you would have said to bench Lofton, waive Mahay and let a youngster close instead of fat Gagne. The trades of those players, one of which you deem "brillant", wouldn't have been possible by taking the route you suggest. Cattalanotto, Broussard, Laird (especially) and Bradley will have some to significant value in the trade market this summer. Laird is a 28 year old catcher, who plays solid defense and has a decent bat. He's cocky, possibly struggles calling games, appears overweight and you have a personal vendetta towards him. If you ignore all of that and look historically at the value that a solid Major League catcher has, you'd realize that he has enormous value in this league. The past trades of Ed Taubensee and AJ Pierzynski come to mind where teams gave huge bounties to acquire a solid every day catcher.

Also, lets tap the breaks a bit on declaring JD's deals as "brilliant". I admit that I'm excited and the deals look good on paper, but let me see some long term Major League success before you get to carried away. The Texeira trade has yielded exactly nothing in the big leagues yet and 6 or 7 decent starts from Gabbard and 150 solid ABs from Murphy certainly dont make either a sure thing. Also, study all his moves and you'll see that not all of his "quastionable moves" came early in his tenure. The Danks move of early and 07 and giving away Galaragga this spring appear to have every chance to be as disatrous for this franchise as the Gonz/Young trade of a couple of seasons ago.

Finally, Hicks, in an unusually smart move, hired Nolan to run the franchise. If it's Nolan's gig, Nolan should make all the decisions and hire his own guys if he wants. If that means JD goes, then JD has to go. One of the biggest mistakes made in sorts in my opinion is not allowing the head coaches/managers to hire the guys that work for them. Jerry Jones has forced staffs upon his head coaches unsuccessfullt for years and the Rangers did the same to Washington last year. They need to give free reign to Nolan and he needs to do anything he wants with personnel.

Finally again, look at the numbers, Chris David, Teagarden and Hurley especially are not close to being Major League ready. Being young and talented doesn't mean you're ready. Your boy JD, not Hicks, makes the decisions on those guys and he'd be crazy to have those three in the Majors at this point. And as always, go baseball. - TB

Gripper said...

It's about time people get overly passionate about baseball. Good post. Go baseball, beat hockey!