What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
After the Rangers failed to replace Cliff Lee, I thought the 2011 Rangers would be clearly inferior to the 2010 team. Now, I'm not so sure. Here are my thoughts.
1) Beltre's bat > Vlad's bat, particularly late in the season. Beltre's glove >>> Young's glove. 2) W/ the exception of the loss of Lee and Lewis's struggles at times, the starting rotation is much improved. Of course, the loss of Lee still looms large. 3) Mike Napoli >>>>>>>>> Molina, and then some. 4) 2011 Kinsler > 2010 Kinsler. I think this is right, but I haven't looked up the stats to confirm it. 5) 2010 Hamilton and Cruz > 2011 Hamilton and Cruz. 6) 2011 bullpen > 2010 bullpen.
It's a close call, but I think you could argue that Beltre, Napoli, the improved bullpen, improved Kinsler, and improved Holland/Harrison/Wilson more than make up for losing Lee and Vlad and the drop off in production from Hamilton and Cruz. What do you all think?
I think it is a no-brainer that this team is far and away a better team, with more talent, maturation, and chemistry & desire.
More wins = better team. The discussion is what made us better. The amazing thing is that the guys who are running this show know what they're doing. How many operations can you say that about?
I think another thing that gives an edge to the 2011 team is that we've been here before. Last year was the first time we had ever won a playoff series and we were fortunate enough to make it to the Fall Classic. Although the expectations for them to return are higher, the fact that they've been through it all, the media, the travel, the hype, everything involved with making it to the end, you have to think that they feel a little more calm and confident having experienced it all just last year.
Oh, and Naps and Beltre are pretty good too.
I was so pissed the Rangers didn't do what ever needed to be done to sign Lee. Even getting Mrs Lee here on teleportation device to get from her home in Highland Park to RBIA for the games. Hell I would have even been ok with getting her a personal climate control chamber and team of climate control scientist to follow her snotty bitch ass around to make sure she wasn't hot.
Now, Cliff Lee lost his what 3rd postseason game in a row? The last game he did his best CJ WIlson impersonation.
This boils down to CJ Wilson is our "Ace" and after Mrs. Lee's behavior I am glad to be rid of them and the contract that will keep on taking away instead of giving.
The Brain Trust over at Rangers head quarters are to be worshiped for their making all of the right moves and those moves start with hiring Ron Washington. Not over paying for Lee. Bringing in Beltre.
If MY is playing 3rd base we likely lose the last 2 games to the Rays.
I forgot about the Napoli trade and all the trade deadline trades and the preseason with the wisdom of moving Ogando into the rotation instead of Feliz or promoting a minor league player that wasn't ready for prime time.
The 2011 Rangers are better than the 2010 version. Why?Most of today's posters have hit on one or most of the reasons. It would have been nice to keep Cliff Lee and the mound presence he brings, but in retrospect, the Rangers starting five worked out pretty well. Take away C.J.'s meltdown the other day and he remains a very dependable starter. Add in Harrison and Holland and of course, Colby Lewis, and the Rangers really stack up well against any of the remaining playoff teams.And as mhilgtx correctly points out, the Phillies are apt to be paying a high price for mid-range results in the back end of Lee's contract.But the two keys, and this may be overstating the obvious, were signing Beltre and trading for Napoli.In the afterglow of Beltre's slugfest yesterday it may seem easy to say he's the key addition but if he hadn't been hurt (which may have been a blessing in disguise -- it gave him some extra rest), it's not a stretch to say he would have been in the MVP discussion for the American League.He's that good -- offensively and defensively.Now, about King Mike Napoli. Ranger fans should have recognized his dangerous bat when he played for the Angels, but the key to his game, as Ranger pitchers are quick to point out, is how he meshes with the pitching staff.Both blended in perfectly with the clubhouse and have thrived.If the Lee family had decided to stay in Texas, Michael Young would still be playing third and Beltre would probably be with the Angels, which could have curtailed the Rangers AL West chances.King Napoli might have still been here, but the way baseball dominos fall in winter and early spring there's no way to know.So we should be thankful that Nolan and Co. are astute baseball people. They recognize winning baseball pieces and do their best to bring them to Arlington.
It's such an awesome feeling to have complete trust in your Front Office. Instead of worrying about the decisions that they will make, I most worry that other teams will start picking off our FO guys for higher, more prestigious, jobs with their clubs. Every time some team fires their GM, I start cringe.
A huge thing everyone is forgetting is Mike Young 2011>>>>>>>>>>Mike Young 2010. Mike Young 2010's #s at DH is replacement level. Mike Young 2011 has been a major asset.
How about Endy/Gentry > Borbon as well.
I was so pissed the Rangers didn't do what ever needed to be done to sign Lee.
I was actually worried about how far they were going to keep him. (Daniels said after the fact he thought they probably offered too much.)
By the best accounts I've heard, the Rangers break-even around $100 million. (Even accounting for the new TV contract.) Now, Ray Davis may be OK with going above that and losing money for a few years hoping it will pay off in a more valuable club when he sells the team... but that's always a risky move.
So working with a $100 million cap, Lee was going to take up around 25% of the team's annual payroll limit. Lee had his best year to date this year and he finished at just under +7 WAR. But even that would have been only ~12-13% of the Rangers' team WAR this year. And Lee is likely to decline from +7 over the next few years due to his age and the difficulty in replicating such excellent seasons.
MLB playoffs are a total toss-up. That's just the nature of baseball over 5-7 games. So the way to win a World Series is to maximize your number of times getting into the total toss-up. That means maximizing the total times we win the AL West. We don't need Cliff Lee to win the AL West. This is a luxury of being in this crappy, 4-team division.
Everyone seems to be better this year except Josh, who had an unreal season last year. This year he's been good, but we could hardly have expected him to repeat such an impressive performance. Overall though, our offense is so much better, our defense is better, and our pitching is better. No, we don't have Lee fronting our rotation, but our starters all did varying degrees of well this year, and they all played all year. Last year in the postseason our rotation went from really good at the front to....not-postseason-worthy, with a pretty glaring hole at #4 that, frankly, no one was good enough to fill. Now it's much more even. When we go out against Sabathia or Verlander or Halladay or whoever we might face, I have faith in any of the guys we'd start, so we have a decent chance to beat anyone.
Even if we don't make the WS this year, I don't think you can argue that our team isn't better this year. But then, the "best" team doesn't always win it all.
I actually will be one to look at it from the other side. I think last year's team was better slightly...... because of pitching. We saw how quickly bats can be silenced by a tough park and a team of good pitchers by the Giants; so that could negate how much better Young, Napoli, and Beltre are. Cruz has become completely unreliable this year and I hope he gets hot starting Saturday.
Now I will give you this, we have an underrated pitching staff this year, a ridiculous offense (although like i said can quickly be silenced) we hopefully will have Home Field... but overall the field is way weaker this year than last year.
Bottom line, I think 2010s team was better but faced a tough competion all post season fell short.
This years team although elite offensively may not have the pitching to hold up normally, but by facing a weaker field overall i'm thinking WS. One team gets majorly upset every year.... milwaukee's going to beat the phillies, rangers beat milwaukee in 5. pop the champagne and celebrate another victory for the DFDubs!
@dcaggie06: Our #4 hole, which I believe was filled by Tommy Hunter most of the time, was almost an auto-loss to a team with much offense, given that our offense last year wasn't what it is this year.
understood, but none of our pitchers this year are a guarantee. CJ lost and what if CJ is our Hunter this year? then what?; Holland and Harrison are just as likely to implode as pitch as well as they have. Colby is the only pitcher you can trust..... in the playoffs. I stand by my opinion. despite that i still say we win it all this year. booyah!
I'm not sure we can even trust Colby that much. I think he'll be fine, but I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if he pitches a 1-hitter against Detroit or NY.
DC - I disagree. We are better this year in the 5 man rotation, the BP, offense is better, defense is better. I don't get your arguement.
its not an argument its my opinion. you dont have get it. now why dont you go back to Nranch Rick Perry!!!! ha!
Ha! "Arguement" was a poor choice of words. I don't get your opinion. Was just wanting a further explanation as to how last year's pitching was better.
then i'll correct my post with maybe not "better" but more consistent, and thus more trustworthy. just cuz you have a hole in the 4 (which could have been replaced and should have) Cliff, Colby, and CJ were more dependable and consistent as a whole than say the top 3 now of CJ, Holland, Harrison (i put Harrison above Colby... thats just me though.)
then, you have to debate are we just talking playoffs or all year? the Magic of Hambone's MVP season, the fear in tim wakefields eyes of the sight of Nelly? Walk off HBP to Francoeur. The single greatest cycle ever hit (a Disney movie is already in the works) by Bengie..... Vlad basically pulling the original Napoli every time we played the Angels. Matt Treanor's Triple
We had some good moment this year.... but something about 2010 was just more "magical"
Now get back to your fund raiser and practice some debating. i'm tired of hearing Romney Cain 24/7!
I understand your theory a bit better now. Coldy was definitely better last year, but still not a horrible year this year. And pitched well against the Rays, with one hit, albeit another solo shot of course.
Cruz will be inciting fear again in short order. And Hamilton, had he not been waived home on a bone-headed 3B coach brain fart, would have been relatively healthy all year and likely would have put up awesome numbers again. That said, he was still very good. Young had an outstanding year, Kinsler 30/30, and the additions of Beltre and Napoli have changed this line-up and defense.
Both teams were good, but I'd take 2011. Just my opinion, not a Presidential debate.
@dc: Yes, the #4 should have been filled, but it wasn't. That was my point. If it had been, with this year's Holland or Harrison or somebody besides Hunter, then our rotation last year would have been better. But it wasn't. As we saw in the WS, Cliff, as good as he was, wasn't a sure win. But either way, our #4 was, with no disrespect intended to him, a bit of a pushover.
All that said, I'm glad to see someone arguing the opposing side.
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.