If you wanted to see Manny Ramirez playing in Arlington down the stretch, it will probably interest you to know that yes, he has hit trade waivers, but will probably be claimed by the better-waiver-priority White Sox before he can reach the Rangers, and would require a $4.25 million commitment that some baseball people apparently believe to be way too much for the amount of production he would supply:
● From the "stuff that looks superficially correct but probably isn't" pile emanates this post by Richie Whitt of the Dallas Observer, in which he uses win-loss records to compare this year's Rangers squad to last year's through 125 games and concludes that Texas is basically "the same team in a crappier division." Fortunately, we have better ways of gauging a team's talent level than simply eyeballing win-loss records, such as wins above replacement (which strips contextual performance from the equation).
And this is where Whitt's assertion breaks down, or at least it does if you consider a projected four- to five-win difference significant enough to refute the "Texas is the same team" notion: the Rangers amassed 21.8 wins above replacement between their offense (wOBA) and defense (UZR) last year, working out to around 16.8 wins if prorated through 125 games. This season, they're already sitting pretty at 20.5 wins above replacement (again, through just 125 games), and are on pace to finish somewhere between 26-27 wins. The improvement is far less exaggerated on the pitching side (FIP), such that the difference is likely no more than one win either way, but there's some evidence here to suggest that the identical win-loss records are not indicative of being the "same team" talent-wise, as it were.
● If there was already growing opposition towards the construction of publicly financed stadiums, the recent leak of numerous team financial documents probably only further entrenched the opposition and its cause, because today there's a huge kerfuffle over the revelation that the Marlins actually turned huge profits during the time that they contended they were only breaking even financially -- the "centerpiece fiscal argument" that helped secure the new stadium that will cost Miami-Dade County taxpayers billions of dollars before everything is said and done. In essence, Marlins team executives lied about the team's profitability in order to help secure a new stadium.
Now, tie all of this into the recent line of discussion about whether the Rangers should erect a new stadium in the next 5-10 years (which is highly unlikely, but then that never stopped anyone from talking about it before). I will acknowledge that neither the location nor the design of the Ballpark are conducive to fully maximizing team revenues, but this is common knowledge and not the real issue -- the real issue is whether erecting a new retractable-roof facility is cost-effective, and whether Rangers ownership should pour significant funds into its construction that might be better allocated elsewhere. I suspect the answer to this question is 'no,' but even if you feel differently, I think it's reasonable to suggest that this Marlins stadium fiasco will make it at least a little more difficult to secure public funding for such projects going forward, and likelier that the Rangers stay put through at least 2020 than before.