Move over New York, Los Angeles and Boston; your aristocratic club just got a brand new member. Yes, I am talking about our Texas Rangers. No, I am not crazy, I have solid proof the Rangers have become a major player in the market and will give New York, Los Angeles and Boston a run for their money every year.
The Rangers made an impression in the market when they won the exclusive bidding rights and eventually signed Japanese sensation Yu Darvish. Nobody outside of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex expected the Rangers to even have a close bid. The Rangers have proven the last two seasons they can compete with the evil empires of the northeast and west coast on the field. Now this off season, they are proving they can stay with them step for step and dollar for dollar in the marketplace in the quality player hunt.
While Texas is the “New Kid” on the block with all of their recent on field success, it is starting to equate into some exciting moves off the field as well. Nolan Ryan being president (and part owner) has an appeal to a lot of players. But don’t discount John Daniels. He has been a shrewd GM and made moves that have shocked and surprised his staunchest critics. Suddenly Texas is becoming a “hot” destination for quality players. Everyone loves a winner. As the old adage goes, “build it and they will come”. Attendance records were broken this past two years and this will continue.
And don’t forget the loveable Ron Washington with his toddler like grin from the dugout. He is a true player’s manager, and has a passion that runs so deep even a fan in the nosebleeds can feel it emanating from him on the field. Everything is starting to add up for a great chance for the Texas Rangers to make their mark in Major League Baseball. Back to back World Series appearances are a good start.
This all started a few years ago when Nolan and John decided the way to build a winner was from the minors up. They placed their focus on the drafts and built towards a great future. They knew it was going to take time and lots of patience. Well, those were some dark days and everybody around the club wanted “JD” gone. But Nolan kept him around, and brought in some new ownership with a lot of money in their pockets. As soon as the sale was finalized and the old owner Tom Hicks was gone, things immediately got better.
Now the Texas Rangers are “wheeling and dealing” and starting to make themselves a destination for quality players instead of a joke. It has been a long road, and there are some painful memories for the fans, but brighter days are ahead. The Rangers are becoming a player in the free agent market, and have been a big time player in the draft. They have also developed a great group of players in their minor league farm system.
These are great days if you are a Rangers fan, and they only look to get better. As long as Nolan and JD run the show, this team will be relevant. So move over Yankees, and step aside Red Sox and Angels because we are crashing your monopoly and will have you uttering, “We shouldn’t have messed with Texas”.
Please be sure to follow me on Twitter