Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jason Botts DFA'd

In my judgment, Jason Botts is very likely to become a championship quality hitter in the major leagues. Might Botts make it through waivers and be assigned to OKC with Nelson Cruz? I don't know how to handicap that. I hope Jon Daniels does.

Botts is PISSED OFF. I'm sure he's hurt. I'm sure he believes he should've been playing in the majors all of last season. I believe that also. If I were Botts, I would want the heck out of Texas. I would believe Jon Daniels, Ron Washington, Nolan Ryan, and Buck Showalter(for good measure) are all idiots. Botts could not have been jerked around by major league management any more than he has been. This season, he has 38 ABs scattered over 13 appearances. In his last 20 trips to the plate, Botts has an OBP of .400(second best on the team). And yet: bye bye. It's crazy. The Rangers have almost zero chance to win a playoff series, yet they jerk Botts around. Stupidity. Botts:
"I think I've been here for a pretty long time and I deserve a fresh start somewhere else. It's not the most negative thing to me right now that this has happened. I'm excited about it."

Asked if he thinks he'll get back to the majors?

"I don't know. I think there's plenty of examples of people leaving the Texas Rangers and going on to really great things. There could be something huge in my future. Kind of an exciting moment."
Think that's snarky? Unclassy? I say: truer words were never spoken.

Rangers management is brain-dead in other ways. Consider:

Blalock is injured. Prospect German Duran is brought to the majors, only to watch Ron Washington start journeyman Ramon Vasquez at 3B in three straight games as Duran sat. What the? What the heck is anyone thinking in Arlington? Is anyone thinking?

Consider: Washington said he would not platoon Ben Broussard. After 9 ABs against LH pitchers, Washington began platooning Ben Broussard. Way to give a guy a chance, Ron. The only guy Ron's giving a chance to is Ramon Vasquez.

Fire Ron Washington. Promote 3B coach Matt Wolbeck. He was an outstanding minor league manager before coming to Arlington.

Either micromanage Jon Daniels, or fire him.

The Soriano trade was horrible. The Chris Young trade was one of the worst trades in history. The John Danks trade looks horrifying. 2007 was over by April 15, yet Daniels allowed Botts to languish in OKC until Aug. 1, then got him semi-sporadic playing time after.

After Nelson Cruz began to destroy AAA pitching in mid 2007, he received extreme sporadic playing time in Arlington at the end of 2007. Nelson Cruz was jerked around, and was given no chance to get in rhythm. No one can effectively judge Cruz' ability based on that unsteady sampling. Cruz had a good winter, a good spring training, and now a good spring. There's every chance Cruz has turned the corner. The 2008 season is a perfect opportunity to give Cruz an extended look.

Daniels has some nice strengths, yet is overmatched in areas where he needs nuanced understanding about how to play the game, about how to mesh together a winning team, about how to judge the Rangers real chances of winning in the short term, and about how to manage his Managers.

If you fire Daniels, promote special assignments scout Jerry Narron to GM. Narron is the consumate baseball man. He understands how to identify and develop young talent - which is what the Rangers need, thanks to Jon Daniels' business strengths(i.e. buy low, sell high). If Narron were the GM, German Duran would be playing 3B in Arlington.

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