What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
This is something I've been thinking about lately if we can't get Vlad at a decent price.
Given the Rangers recent success is helping players have bounce back years at DH (Sosa, Bradly, Andruw Jones, and now Vlad) why don't we go after a cheaper DH option like Lance Berkman and then use Josh and Nellie at DH also? This allows our 2 best offensive pieces to rest their legs over a long season, as well as keeping Murphy in the lineup as much as possible. I think we go in to next season with Julio as the 4th outfielder but we still get him plenty of playing time since he will play when either Nellie or Josh is playing as the DH. Just a thought if we can't get the right guy for the right price.
(A) Berkman probably gets similar money to Vlad, if not more because he can actually play some 1B.
(B) I don't see any upside to having anybody on the payroll as a "primary DH". Rotate Josh, Cruz, Murph, Mitch, and Young through the position.
I haven't heard much about what Berkman is looking for, but if it is around 5-6 per for 2 years I think it's worth it. He would fit in well with our clubhouse as well.
I'm a huge Berkman fan. Was at Rice while he was there. We drank too much together a couple of times. But I don't care how guys fit in the clubhouse. I care how they fit in the lineup/on the field/in the payroll structure. And I hate the idea of committing $10-12mil over 2 years to a guy who has no projected role in the field, unless they are a stud of studs type hitter, which Berkman was, but is no longer.
Chemistry is for dating and pharmacology. Performance is for sports. Especially baseball, which is largely a series of individual matchups and individual plays.
I agree Berkman isn't the elite talent he once was but neither were Sosa, Jones, Bradly or Vlad. And I think our clubhouse atmosphere was a big part of our year. Referring to other sports, the Vikings and the Heat are prime examples of how poor chemistry can derail a team with tons if talent. AROD has only been a good clubhouse guy 1 year and they won a title. It isn't the absolute most important but it plays a factor. But I also see the value of using a DH by platoon system, but our injuries scare me.
I think the Heat are an example of small sample size, and they're going to win a ridiculous # of games over the next 4-5 seasons.
I think the Vikings are an example of regression to the mean + sometimes guys get old really fast + injuries. That team played at a higher level than its overall talent last year, by a little bit. This season, (a) it's playing at a more appropriate level for it's talent (which is good but not great), the middle-aged QB finally got too old to play, and the injury to S Rice was far more devastating than anyone realized when it happened. He's a stud, and they lacked depth behind him. In terms of his quality, the importance of his position, and the lack of depth behind him, Rice might have been one of the most indeispensable non-QBs in the NFL.
Also, on-field chemistry is important in the NBA and NFL. Anticipating a teammate's pass, working in unison, etc. There's really no such thing as that in baseball. Chemistry has nothing to do with what happens when Nelson Cruz steps into the batter's box. There, he must perform alone, in solitude, much like a golfer or a singles tennis player.
You are right about the NFL and NBA needing to know their players more. I define that at "familiarty" rather than "chemistry." It was obvious at spring training that this team truly liked playing together, and I don't think you can quantify the impact of playing with guys you like. ARod and Jeter is an example of how playing with guys you don't like is a bad idea. There is no doubt the Yankees have had the most talented team more than once since ARod got there but yet they only got along for 1 season and won a ring.
There is definitely something to be said for the chemistry of this team, for about 3 years now, the vibe has been much more positive around the Texas Rangers. Young, optimistic players with confident veterans do that. That is why Michael Young and Vladimir Guerrero are more valuable than anyone. The hunger factor is huge too. Accomplished veteran players without rings help to keep the urgency level up where you want it.
Vlad balanced out the lefty-heavy lineups nicely. In 2009, we needed Andruw to fill that role and he flunked. Vlad performing at 100% protects Josh and drives in tons of runs. I think he's got one more season in him, and he won't cost us a draft choice like the top free agents will. They just can't wear him out...if they keep Cruz healthier, Vlad should get more time off.
This is not a lefty heavy lineup. Josh, Moreland, and part-time players Murphy ans Borbon are the only lefties. Cruz needs to move to the 4 hole and be the righty bat protecting Josh. Cruz, Kins, Young, Andrus, and in all liklihood the starting Catcher, whoever that may be, arfe righties. This is a nicely ballanced lineup without Vlad. If Cliff leaves, trade for Greinke and go get Werth. Rotate OFs through the DH spot.
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