What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
As Rangers fans we have had a lot of epic blunders in our team history, but none can compare to what Rangers fans had to endure during the Hicks era. I've seen a lot of bad baseball over the years, but with that said its made me grateful for the amazing run our club has had this month. I guess what makes me angry about this run is the fact that Tom Hicks is trying to keep some of his dignity with the Rangers and claim some of this ball clubs sucess was his own doing. This is the same Hicks who signed the pre-Madonna of the league to a exorbarant contract who we are still paying to be struck out by Feliz! (how sweet that was!) Granted he brought John Daniels to this club aside from that fact Hicks spent all of his time destroying other franchises. (Liverpool FC) Does Hicks deserve a ring, he seems to think he does?
I hate Hicks just as much as the next guy, but we have to give credit where it's due. The core of our players are Hicks era players. Just sayin'...
Its not about Hicks or Ryan/Greenburg. Their just the owners. It was aboout the switch from John Hart to Jon Daniels. Daniels is a genius GM.
I sat next to AJ Preller's parents at Game 5 in New York and talked with his dad for awhile. I am no big Hart fan (nice guy but mediocre performance as Rangers GM), but Preller's dad, unprompted, specifically raised Hart's name as one who had been a huge resource and guide to Daniels, Levine and Preller when they came over. (Preller and Daniels were college roommates at Cornell.)
As for Hicks, when enough time has passed for emotions and memory of details to fade, people looking back to see which owners, GMs, managers, etc. deserve attribution for the 2010 Rangers will see that, despite his bad decisions early on and financial hardships in latter years, the plan that produced the 2010 Rangers had as much to do with Tom Hicks as any owner is capable of being responsible for the on-field results.
Blame it on cost-cutting, dumb luck, whatever, if you'd like... but Hicks found a completely unknown Jon Daniels (who then brought over Levine and Preller), he kept Hart around as a resource for the young Ivy Leaguers, he stepped back and gave them room to work (and gave them a much larger scouting budget), and, once all the major details and the program in place and running, he tacked on Nolan Ryan to add a little PR weight in the front office.
Hicks made a lot of blunders, but people are quick to forget how willing he was to pay top dollar for talent acquisition. He let his GMs draft the best talent available and didn't balk at the bonus money. He bankrolled the re-entry into the Latin American free agent market, a VERY smart decision that helped the Rangers' scouting efforts for guys like Martin Perez, Andrus & Feliz (even though they were in other orgs at the time), etc. He backed Daniels when he wanted to start rebuilding in 2007.
Hicks' early years left the team reeling, with his constant changes of direction/philosophy. But the current situation would not exist if Hicks hadn't gotten behind a rebuilding plan and supported it fully, before during and after the team went up for sale.
If the economic collapse hadn't happened, or if Hicks hadn't over-leveraged himself, he would be supporting re-signing Lee just as much as the Greenberg-Ryan group is. The fiasco of the team bankruptcy and sale, along with jaded memories of Hicks' learning curve in the early years mean fans will never give him that credit. I don't feel sorry for Hicks, he made his bed and has to lie in it. But fans shouldn't blame him for every problem that befell the team without also giving him credit for it's rise from the ashes.
Hicks definitely deserves all the credit in the world for hiring JD. He was also as impressed with Ron Washington as JD was, and wasn't afraid to go with a totally inexperienced manager. Those two hires, plus Ryan, plus Maddux, plus (probably) Clint Hurdle, are all great decisions.
The Plan wasn't implemented in a vacuum, either; and it wasn't taken on because he was financially strapped. He still spent the required dollars alluded to by Rangers100 and t ball. Hicks had to admit he'd been listening to the wrong people (or at least admit he WASN'T listening to the RIGHT people) for the first 6 yrs of his ownership, and let the team take some lumps with all the youngsters.
Many of JD's mistakes early on were because he was green and because Showalter forced him to take some actions he didn't want to take (trading Chris Young). Once Showalter lost the good graces of Hicks, JD finally was able to begin standing on his own two feet. Hicks was as green as anybody, and had to learn from his own costly mistakes, as well.
We all know the bottom line is that Hicks' ego is very large, and he screwed up financially big time. Because of the bankruptcy, this team is probably not quite as strong as it might be if JD and his staff had any financial flexibility at all these past 24 months. But all the things he did right from 2006-2008 have put this club in this position. Give the man his due credit for what he did right as he shuffles off into oblivion.
Well put, t ball.
I think Rangers100 and tball did a good job expressing my feelings. Hicks certainly didn't put himself in a good light over the last days of his ownership, but I think it's important to realize that Hicks did in fact make a large contribution to the eventual success of this team.
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