A Few Remarks on Recent Things

It’s been awhile since I offered any big opinions on anything, so I’m going to post about several of them all at once. Here goes:
Michael Young:
You know, as the Michael Young thing broke, I have to admit I didn’t know what to write. When it was first announced he wanted a trade, my first thought was “Wow”. I thought a bit, and couldn’t come up with something more profound than that, so I didn’t say anything. The details came out that Michael Young was “told” he was moving to third base. I felt a little bit that he should have been talked with about it, instead of talked “TO” about it. Granted, we don’t know the exact tone of the conversations, we weren’t in there, so we have just the news reports and the reporter accounting of the issue. None of which had first hand insight into the actual meetings as such. Then there’s the other issue. If I tried at my job to say “No, I don’t think I’m going to do what you told me to, I want to go to another company”, I’d be thrown out on my ass faster than you can say “recession”. So I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for multimillionaires who don’t want to do what their boss tells them. No, not at all.
Still, having said that, you don’t want arguably the biggest name on your team to be unhappy, so you start looking into the trade possibilities. The problem is, most of the money we were paying Michael Young was not for his performance on the field. He was paid to be the “face of the franchise”. Intangible money like that doesn’t translate well when talking about trades. Michael Young is a great player both on the field and off. However, when you pay someone for “off the field”, it’s hard to get another team to buy into that. If you look at it just on the dollars vs the on the field stuff, he’s overpaid – big time. Especially when we get to the back end of the contract. So yeah, it would have been hard to move that. Felt we had a very little chance of moving him, which probably would have meant an unhappy player.
Then the equally surprising move that Michael Young decided to accept the move to third came down the pike. Michael said all the right things when it was announced. It appeared that Nolan Ryan stepped in to work it out (as he should, he’s the team president after all), but one gets the feeling that Young still isn’t too thrilled about it. Provided this team doesn’t finish under .500 again, or Elvis Andrus makes 50 errors, and Young makes the transition well enough, this should be OK. The Rangers have Steve Buchele on staff, he can help Michael with that. What’s Dean Palmer doing these days? Give him a ring. Heck, he can even call his old buddy Alex Rodriguez, if he’s not too busy chasing down Madonna or just counting his money.
Bit of a sticky time here, but it seems to have worked itself out on the surface. We’ll see as we get into the season how it all works out.
Newspaper Coverage
Saw in this morning’s Newberg Report about a merging of the local beat writers between the Dallas Morning News & Ft Worth Star Telegram writers. Not just for the Rangers, but for other sports too. Now I couldn’t care less about the Cowboys or the Mavericks, but the Rangers & Stars I am interested in. That’s not entirely fair, I like the Mavs sometimes, but I rarely read about ’em in the paper.
Anyway, it appears according to this that the FTW guys are the only “beat” guys now. It would appear that Evan Grant & Richard Durett are out of a job covering baseball. Now I don’t know all the facts here. The only place I’ve seen this story covered is Jamey’s update for today – I’ve not seen it in the other two newsletters. I may have just missed that (which is possible, as I’ve had some family stuff going on this week), but it would appear that the FTW guys are going to just be the baseball writers in the Dallas Morning News.
To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me before too long if the Dallas Morning News & Ft Worth Star Telegram end up merging totally. Given the horrible state newspapers were in before this current economic mess, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them merge completely to stay in existance.
So long as Jean-Jacques Taylor and Randy Galloway stay out of Rangers coverage, I’ll be happy. Taylor seems to have a disdain for covering baseball almost as strong as Newy Scruggs does, I never like reading. Randy Galloway seems far too bitter to have any opinions that can’t be translated as “Screw the Rangers, they’re all losers”, that I don’t want to listen to him, either.
Omar Vizquel:
Word came out last night that the Rangers were trying to sign Omar Vizquel to play as a backup shortstop to the Rangers. My initial knee-jerk reaction after reading that was to think? Him? Middle infield in the fastest infield in the AL? Come on – what’s with that? I immediately IM’ed Jamey Newberg, and said this:

(11:15:02 PM) Joe Siegler: Omar Vizquel? WTF
(11:15:35 PM) Jamey Newberg: why WTF?
(11:16:04 PM) Joe Siegler: Just seems bizarre to me. Yeah, I know all the logical reasons, but you don’t go ancient for a backup, we have enough of our own kids to fill that role.
(11:16:20 PM) Jamey Newberg: c’mon
(11:16:22 PM) Jamey Newberg: like who
(11:17:10 PM) Joe Siegler: I would have started by not moving Michael Young from SS. I suppose I should write about all this stuff on my site. Get it out. :)

He’s right though – who would we have as a backup? As I said above, I would have never moved Michael Young in the first place. But he’s moved. So we need to do something. Secondly,I would have kept Ramon Vazquez as the guy. But he’s not here, and he really deserves to start (although I don’t think he’s going to win anything in Steel Town). When I made the comment to Jamey, I was thinking along the lines of German Duran, or Joaquin Arias. I mean, Arias was groomed as a big deal shortstop for awhile. But it seems, according to all the press I’ve read today that we’re going after Omar Vizquel. In his prime, he was a stellar player. At the tail end of his career here, he can probably help us in a backup role, and as well as mentoring. Not that Michael Young is a bad mentor (he’s great), but it can’t hurt to have another really knowledgable shortstop to help out.
So yeah, I was fairly prophetic in what I said with Jamey. Type it out, and I’l feel better. While I still think we’d do OK with Arias as a backup, I guess Vizquel won’t be horrible. I suppose I’m in the “Meh” category about this.
New Advertising:
It appears that the new advertising slogan for 2009 will be “Built for Fun”. The Official Rangers site has changed its masthead to show this.

For the last two years, it’s been “You could Use Some Baseball, and looked like this:

I rather liked the billboards around town for the last two years that were part of this campaign. I don’t suppose this makes a huge difference, but I rather liked “You could use some baseball”. I guess we’ll have to see how this new one plays out.
Don Zimmer:
Saw today that former Rangers manager and overall good guy Don Zimmer had a stroke. Strokes are never a good thing, but in reading about this one, it doesn’t seem too bad. Some of them are debilitating, and it appears he will be able to go to camp with the Rays. I met Zim once two years ago in spring training when the Phillies were playing the Rays. I’ve read both of his books. Always admired him, will be grateful for his recovery.
Josh Hamilton:
Saw this story where someone got mad that Sony picked Dustin Pedroia for the cover of MLB 09: The Show instead of Josh Hamilton. Check it out, it’s an interesting read.