Reporting Mike Bacsik
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ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) – The Rangers forced an extra regular season game, but game #163 played out very similar to the other 15 losses in September. Pretty good starting pitching, followed by solid relief and a costly error. The Rangers’ offense would threaten — but in the end, base running mistakes and a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position ended their 2013 season.
Who should the Rangers fire for not making the playoffs for the first time since 2009? NOBODY!
Texas won 91 regular season games. Anytime you win 90+ games in a regular season, I consider that a successful season. Were mistakes made by Manager Ron Washington during the season? Yes. Were mistakes made by Jon Daniels in the off-season and during the season of 2013? Yes. But the Rangers never quit.
In fact, after the 2012 late-season collapse, many expected the Rangers to fold up the tents with 7 games remaining in 2013 and needing to win them all. They won every game. In fact they came back from deficits in 5 of those games. You don’t fire a skipper that gets that type of effort from his club every year he’s been the manager.
Jon Daniels failed to replace the production lost from the 2012 Rangers in Hamilton, Napoli and Young. But it gave Leonys Martin a chance to play center field everyday, and he proved to be the long term answer they believed he could be when he defected from Cuba.
Murphy and Moreland were given a chance to prove they are everyday players. Unfortunately both proved they are quality utility players. Jurickson Profar got a mid-May call up and even though his production was minimal, the Rangers hope 2013 will be a building block for the prospect.
I believe the front office was pleasantly surprised with the first half of the season and Daniels was able to add the best tradeable pitcher on the market in Matt Garza.
When Cruz received his 50-game suspension for PED use, Daniels was able to get Alex Rios from the White Sox in early August. JD might have put too much faith in inexperienced players this season, but his track record as GM speaks for itself and hopefully he is running this organization for a long time to come.
Looking back on 2013, I have a hard time believing this team was able to win 91 games. You lose your opening day starter Matt Harrison after 2 horrible starts for the season and your best power hitter, Nelson Cruz, misses the last 50 games of the season with a PED suspension.
Ogando predictably missed time with injuries and was unpredictable in the starting rotation. Matt Garza didn’t live up to the expectations of a solid front line starter after the trade, and Grimm, Tepesch, Wolf, Lindblom, and Blackley combined for 42 starts.
For the park the Rangers play in, this was a below average offense in the American League. There was little production from the DH spot all year and most of the season your most important offensive positions 1B, RF, LF and DH were 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th in the batting order. That has to change, and I believe the Rangers are a few moves away from being the favorites in the American League in 2014.
There is no fall guy for 2013 in Texas, but if the Rangers fail to add bats in the offseason and fail to earn a playoff berth in 2014, Washington and/or Jon Daniels will be replaced.
Mike Bacsik pitched for parts of 5 years in the Majors, including 2004 with the Texas Rangers. You can listen to Mike weekdays from 10-2p as part of G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan.
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