Saturday, April 18, 2009

I got Ron Washington's back

DFW media is searching for controversy in Rangers Manager Ron Washington's decision to pull Michael Young after the 7th inning of a 9-0 game. Even bloggers I respect are saying the decision "sent the wrong message to the team".

Media and bloggers are wrong.  Ron Washington is right.

Here's the message being sent:

DON'T @#$%^&*&*&^%$#@ FALL BEHIND 9-0 IN THE SEVENTH INNING!!!!!!

Sheesh. Michael Young DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE IN THE GAME. He was part of an offense which was SHUT OUT for seven innings; which could not scratch a single run; which ran into an unforced baserunning out at 3B on a grounder to SS (high schools don't make that mistake); which futilely and amateurishly chased a veteran pitcher's off-the-plate teasers for SEVEN INNINGS, instead of working that pitcher and taking walks: as the Red Sox would have done, as the Yankees would have done, as the A's would have done, as the Twins would have done (except for Gomez).

The Rangers should've had Meche up to 110 pitches and out of the game in the 5th inning. And they should've collected some runs, helped along by bases on balls, as they were moving Meche out of the game. That's exactly what the Red Sox would've done.

I love the Rangers young hitters, yet their lack of discipline is a problem. They scored 19 on Wed, took Thu off, then scored 2 on Friday. The goal is not to bomb an ineffective or slumping pitcher for 19 runs. The goal is to scratch out at least 4 or 5 runs every night, even against the very best of pitchers. That's exactly what the Red Sox do.

One thing which bugs me about Michael Young is his free swinging. He goes to the plate to hit. He should go there to get on base. I don't like having Michael Young as a veteran leader for our young hitters. Michael Young sends them the wrong message: "Hit". Josh Hamilton also. Here's the correct message: "Get on base". As a batter, I hope Kinsler can usurp Michael Young and Josh Hamilton as a team leader. Kinsler goes to the plate to get on base.

Kinsler's is the message which Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia need to be studying. Already, Cruz and Saltalamacchia show disturbing signs of returning to ineffective, overaggressive states - especially Saltalamacchia, who has abandoned the newfound plate discipline which gave me hope for him.

The veteran pitcher Gil Meche saw all of this, and took advantage of all of it, as he should have. Gil Meche teased the Rangers, and they - especially Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Saltalamacchia - accommodated by flailing helplessly. Gil Meche kicked the Texas Rangers' jackasses.

Media continually says the Rangers problem is pitching pitching pitching defense pitching pitching pitching. Pitching and defense are a problem. But HITTING is also a problem. No one is paying attention that HITTING is a problem. Feast or famine hitting is completely useless. You can't win that way. Rangers hitters need discipline, and they show few signs of acquiring it.

In my nightmare, it's the World Series, and Michael Young and Josh Hamilton are helplessly flailing away at pitches off the plate, and the Rangers consequently are being decisively defeated (somewhat as the Bash Brothers McGuire-Canseco A's were defeated by the Eric Davis Cincinatti Reds, and later by the Kirk Gibson Dodgers.  The Bash Brothers A's won the 1989 World Series, and that was it. They underachieved).  

The Rangers have some disciplined hitters coming:  Chris Davis, Taylor Teagarden, David Murphy, Brandon Boggs, Max Ramirez, Justin Smoak.  Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are still young enough and pliable enough to change their ways.  For some reason, I've less confidence Saltalamacchia will ever change.  And Michael Young appears a lost cause.  

Rangers have got to turn their overaggressive hitters around.  Send Saltalamacchia to AAA to learn.  Turn around Hamilton and Nelson Cruz RIGHT NOW!  Keep close eye on Elvis Andrus.  If the Rangers have a line up with eight disciplined hitters, they can hopefully overcome Michael Young.

No comments: