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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ian Kinsler calls Jon Daniels ‘sleazeball,’ hopes Rangers go 0-162

Being Ian. Get a gripp.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler spent the first eight years of his big-league career with the Rangers, but he was traded to the Tigers this past offseason in a blockbuster deal that sent Prince Fielder to Texas. And now, in an article set to be in ESPN Magazine March 17, Kinsler has spoken his mind about his former ballclub. It’s juicy. It’s a quality read and long-form, so hop on over there to read the whole thing if interested.

Some of the highlights:

•“There was no remorse from the Rangers,” Kinsler says of the trade. “They did not care.” More: “The team had changed. It was not the same personalities, not the same players, not the same chemistry. To be traded, it was refreshing to start new.”

•Trading Michael Young before last season really hurt the club, in Kinsler’s view. “He held everything together,” Kinsler told ESPN.

•Kinsler and Adrian Beltre had a heated argument late in the season that spilled over into the tunnel between the dugout and the clubhouse.

•“Daniels is a sleazeball,” he says (ESPN). “He got in good with the owners and straight pushed [Nolan] Ryan out. He thought all the things he should get credit for, Ryan got credit for. It’s just ego. Once we went to the World Series, everybody’s ego got huge, except for Nolan’s.”

•“I’ll miss all my teammates,” he says (ESPN). “I’ll miss Elvis [Andrus] and Beltre, Mitch [Moreland], Matt Harrison and [manager Ron] Washington.” And the kill shot: “To be honest with you, I hope they go 0-162. I got friends, and I love my friends, but I hope they lose their ass.”

Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM | 72 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers, tigers

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   1. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4665995)
The argument happened when Kinsler touched Beltre's head.
   2. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4666003)
Have not yet RTFA, but I hope the Tigers get good Ian Kinsler and not sour-grapes-and-popups-Ian Kinsler.

edit: Coke to #1.
   3. The Good Face Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4666034)
I hope the Tigers get good Ian Kinsler and not sour-grapes-and-popups-Ian Kinsler.


They're pretty much the same guy. Kinsler's always been kind of a salty personality, but he's usually content to keep a low-ish profile as long as there are other players on the team willing and able to soak up most of the media attention.
   4. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4666044)
The argument happened when Kinsler touched Beltre's head.


FTFA (the actual article in ESPN Mag) and not the Reader's Digest Version:

Finally, in a late-September game against the Angels, Kinsler exploded over what he saw as a lack of effort from Beltre and Andrus. "Base hit to left," Kinsler remembers. "Leftfielder throws it in to Elvis. Elvis and Beltre are talking about the play, and Elvis is just holding the ball -- like the game isn't even going on. It's not a dead ball. It's not timeout. The play is still live. I'm like, 'Hey! Let's f -- ing go!' And Adrian's like, 'Chill out. We're talking about the play.'" Beltre and Kinsler continued their argument in the dugout and even went down the tunnel to hash out their differences. "For the two leaders of the team to be yelling at each other in front of the squad ... it's not very cohesive to winning," Kinsler now admits.

When you read the whole article, Kinsler doesn't come off super well. But hey, if if it motivates him to play well for the Tigers, so be it.
   5. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4666052)
Maybe one of our resident Rangers fans can enlighten me, but what exactly did Nolan Ryan other than being Nolan Ryan to make the organization better? I get that he was part of the ownership group that bought the franchise from Hicks, but I'm still having a hard time seeing what he did to acquire talent. I know about the conditioning stuff that he allegedly did for the pitchers (been alot of injuries though), but I'm not seeing a whole lot else.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4666058)
Has a team ever gone 0-162 before?
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4666066)
Has a team ever gone 0-162 before?


Charlie's Brown team.
   8. Baldrick Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4666077)
He sounds like a swell guy. "I love them. They're my friends. I hope they suffer total professional disaster. The team is terrible and no fun. I hate them for trading me. I'm so glad they traded me."
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4666086)
•Trading Michael Young before last season really hurt the club, in Kinsler’s view. “He held everything together,” Kinsler told ESPN.


Pretty evident after they went from a 93-win season and a WC loss with Michael Young to a 91 win-season and a WC loss without Michael Young.
   10. base ball chick Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4666088)
5. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4666052)

Maybe one of our resident Rangers fans can enlighten me, but what exactly did Nolan Ryan other than being Nolan Ryan to make the organization better?


- i have been asking the same question for a long time

seems that just by being there (no i am not kidding) somehow this gives "credibility" or something like that. now that he is an "adviser" with the astros, i am hearing the same thing. but seems no one can tell me what exactly he DID do seeing as how when he got to the rangers, jon damiels had already assembled a winning team and a pitching coach and nolan wasn't exactly spending time coaching the ML pitchers
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4666090)
Didn't Ryan make some sort of noise about getting Rangers starters to go deeper into games? Did that happen? And if it did, did it make any difference in the staff's effectiveness?
   12. The Good Face Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4666095)
Didn't Ryan make some sort of noise about getting Rangers starters to go deeper into games? Did that happen? And if it did, did it make any difference in the staff's effectiveness?


Texas actually developed quality starting pitching for the first time in franchise history coinciding with Ryan's tenure, but I haven't seen any evidence that Ryan played a significant role other than perhaps offering wise advice and hearty exhortations, or serving as a sort of living inspiration.

   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4666097)
Nolan Ryan departs Texas Rangers: "It's time for me to move on"

What Ryan brought first and foremost to the Rangers upon his February, 2008 hiring was an air of integrity and credibility at a time when the club was foundering on the field and struggling to hold its fan base. By sitting in the front row of every home game, Ryan immediately brought credibility back.

He also helped reinforce the club’s developing pitching-first mentality, which emphasized stronger, fitter more durable pitchers. It dovetailed nicely with the philosophy of Daniels’ staff at the time. In 2007, the Rangers posted a 4.75 ERA. It has been under 4.00 every year starting with 2010 and fell to 3.62 this season.

If differences did develop, they were on the hiring side. Ryan insisted on hiring Tim Purpura as director of player development following the 2011 season over Daniels protests. Following 2012, Daniels wanted to reassign bench coach Jackie Moore, who had been hired on Ryan’s recommendation after 2008. Ryan balked.

In the last month, Purpura has been reassigned to the business side of the operation and Moore was not retained.



This and this argue much of their improvement in pitching came from better defense.

Ryan is credited with helping bring in pitching coach Mike Maddux.

Of Nolan Ryan: Searching For Truth

But, if we are to submit that it was Nolan who singlehandedly brought Maddux in, then fine. We can step off into the deep end for a second. However, if we do that, then we also have to give Ryan credit for bringing in two of “his” guys — former Astros (and buddies) Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman — who essentially provided nothing to the franchise over the last two seasons. That wasn’t Jon Daniels. That was Nolan Ryan making a vague attempt at showing his prowess as a “baseball guy”. At $15 million, Oswalt and Berkman combined to produce +0.7 wins for the Rangers.

I’m trying to give Nolan the benefit of the doubt here. I really am.


He also says Nolan was strongly against the Darvish signing.
   14. Sunday silence Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4666103)
From the article:

...cause if they lose all 162, it's going to #### up replacement levels for years to come. Some douche bag kid sitting in his mother's basement 50 years from now is going to wonder how the #### did Don Kelly get 327 RAW in 2014.


   15. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4666111)
My biggest problem with the Nolan supporters is that outside of Maddux, there isn't a whole lot of tangible evidence as to what he has done for the franchise on the field.
   16. Spivey Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4666121)
My biggest problem with the Nolan supporters is that outside of Maddux, there isn't a whole lot of tangible evidence as to what he has done for the franchise on the field.

It is usually difficult to parse out who gets what credit for which moves in an organization. That's not unique to Texas, it just a little more interesting because usually there isn't a second person like Ryan at a level similar to the GM.

That said, Texas' return to relevance coincides much better with Nolan Ryan than it does with Jon Daniels. Those Oswalt and Berkman signings are not big deals, they were moves on the edge of the roster that didn't pan out, which happens all of the time. I generally have faith in Jon Daniels, but he was at the helm for some awful moves in the last decade (Soriano for Wilkerson, AGon and Chris Young for Adam Eaton, John Danks for McCarthy and then proceed to not keep McCarthy around as he finally got healthy/good) as well as the massive overpay of Michael Young. And Ryan was not around for a lot of those.
   17. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4666124)
"For the two leaders of the team to be yelling at each other in front of the squad ... it's not very cohesive to winning," Kinsler now admits.

So Kinsler considers himself a team leader on the Rangers, but not Michael Young? Conflicting remarks here.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4666129)


So Kinsler considers himself a team leader on the Rangers, but not Michael Young? Conflicting remarks here.


Young was already gone by that time.
   19. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4666142)
That said, Texas' return to relevance coincides much better with Nolan Ryan than it does with Jon Daniels. Those Oswalt and Berkman signings are not big deals, they were moves on the edge of the roster that didn't pan out, which happens all of the time. I generally have faith in Jon Daniels, but he was at the helm for some awful moves in the last decade (Soriano for Wilkerson, AGon and Chris Young for Adam Eaton, John Danks for McCarthy and then proceed to not keep McCarthy around as he finally got healthy/good) as well as the massive overpay of Michael Young. And Ryan was not around for a lot of those.


Daniels made some crappy moves, no doubt. That said, what did Nolan do? Nolan wasn't around for most of the the good moves that led to the 2010, either.
   20. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4666144)
Well, I like Beltre better than Kinsler as a player, so I know who is right here.
   21. Spivey Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4666148)


Daniels made some crappy moves, no doubt. That said, what did Nolan do? Nolan wasn't around for most of the the good moves that led to the 2010, either.


I don't know, Ryan was around for the Teixeira deal, the Beltre signing, and around when many of the young players from the system started coming into their own. I don't think I can say what all he deserves credit for. But they improved in many ways when Ryan came into the fold. This goes beyond just major league talent, minor league talent, and all of the international signing activity they've been in on. The food at the ballpark is much better, for example - Ryan took over from a terrible owner and reversed a lot of that. Again, how much Ryan deserves credit for is hard to say. But just because it is hard to measure doesn't mean we should assume he doesn't deserve any credit. He was one of the key people at the table during the best run in Rangers history.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4666154)
I don't know, Ryan was around for the Teixeira deal, the Beltre signing,


Nolan Ryan was named President in February 2008.

The Tex deal was July 2007.
   23. BDC Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4666158)
The food at the ballpark is much better

Beer, too :)

If the Rangers do well this year, they might have done even better with Ryan. If the Rangers collapse, they might have done worse with him still around. Too many factors to tell. OTOH if 7-8 years of drifting mediocrity follow Ryan just as 7-8 preceded him, we might be able to identify him more confidently with their success in between.
   24. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4666160)
But just because it is hard to measure doesn't mean we should assume he doesn't deserve any credit. He was one of the key people at the table during the best run in Rangers history.


I don't even necessarily disagree with that (it's sort of like when folks complain about Wash as a mananger - he is the most successful manager in franchise history by a long shot), but it would be nice to know what he actually did as President and then CEO. Nolan does get some credit for being in charge during the same time as well.

I just don't know why the folks around Arlington are more convinced that Nolan deserves the credit while Daniels doesn't.
   25. bobm Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4666168)
This and this argue much of their improvement in pitching came from better defense. 

The tOPS+ on BIP split seems to disagree.

For single team seasons, From 2008 to 2013, Franchise: Texas Rangers, Ball In Play (within Hit Location), sorted by greatest Year

                                                                  
Rk             Split   G Year   BF   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS tOPS+ sOPS+
1   TEX Ball In Play 163 2013 4134 .299 .296 .372 .668    91    98
2   TEX Ball In Play 162 2012 4120 .297 .294 .383 .677    89    99
3   TEX Ball In Play 162 2011 4163 .283 .280 .355 .635    82    89
4   TEX Ball In Play 162 2010 4256 .286 .283 .360 .643    81    90
5   TEX Ball In Play 162 2009 4384 .292 .289 .372 .662    77    93
6   TEX Ball In Play 162 2008 4668 .321 .317 .414 .731    79   113

   26. bobm Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4666179)
For single team seasons, From 2008 to 2013, Franchise: Texas Rangers, Not in Play (within Hit Location), sorted by greatest Year 

                                                                                   
Rk            Split Year  HR  BB IBB   SO HBP   BF SO/BB   BA  OBP  SLG tOPS+ sOPS+
1   TEX Not in Play 2013 157 498  35 1309  48 2012  2.63 .107 .349 .428   122    92
2   TEX Not in Play 2012 174 446  15 1286  41 1947  2.88 .119 .339 .477   127    93
3   TEX Not in Play 2011 170 461  21 1179  46 1858  2.56 .126 .365 .504   148   104
4   TEX Not in Play 2010 162 551  24 1181  63 1957  2.14 .121 .397 .483   148   104
5   TEX Not in Play 2009 171 531  14 1016  70 1788  1.91 .144 .432 .576   169   116
6   TEX Not in Play 2008 176 625  44  963  72 1838  1.54 .155 .475 .618   167   136
   27. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4666231)
I just don't know why the folks around Arlington are more convinced that Nolan deserves the credit while Daniels doesn't.

Probably because of the reasons detailed in #16 and #21, especially the timing. Daniels has become a darling of baseball writers and bloggers in recent years, but it was considered somewhat — if not very — surprising that he even survived the arrival of Ryan & Co. At the time, there was wide speculation that firing Daniels would be one of the first things the new ownership group would do. (I'm sure Ryan now regrets that he/they didn't do so.)
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4666239)
Probably because of the reasons detailed in #16 and #21, especially the timing.


And the narratives. Nolan Ryan was a hero that gave the Rangers legitimacy when he signed there as a FA in 1988. He epitomizes grittiness, durability, no-nonsense. He got a ton of credit for implementing things most fans saw as common-sense - getting rid of pitching counts, emphasizing pitching, stuff fans always call in suggesting to talk shows.

And when they begin winning, its easy to look at what he did and try to draw a connection. You want to draw a connection. Gritty HOF pitcher is making his pitchers tougher! Screw those stat nerds with their pitch counts, they're ruining the game.

Makes for a great story. But it also doesn't mean its true.
   29. zonk Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4666242)
Has a team ever gone 0-162 before?


To the Ricketts, that sounds like a challenge!
   30. JE (Jason) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4666251)
Apparently, the experience of having two Jews in the Rangers organization is much like having two Jews in Afghanistan. (Sigh.)
“He got in good with the owners and straight pushed [Nolan] Ryan out.

Robin Ventura is taking copious notes.
   31. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4666257)
Makes for a great story. But it also doesn't mean its true.

Right. It seems more likely that Daniels got his act together and/or that his luck changed. But since the vast majority of fans don't even peek under the hood, let alone explore under there for hours and hours, the Ryan narrative is easy to buy into.
   32. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4666268)
I think based on most of the stuff I have read, Nolan's role with the Rangers is similar to Magic's with the Dodgers. Other folks are running the show (and Magic's role is far more obvious).

Edit: But man, if the Dodgers win with Magic as a figurehead (or whatever his role is), he will probably be the most beloved athlete in LA (he kind of already is, but if you win with the Lakers and seem to help the Dodgers win, you're a god). Magic is already a god in LA (and one of my all-time favorites) but if the Dodgers win, his hero worship might be off the charts. LA has been a Lakers town for a long time, but the when the Dodgers are good... wow. There is just something special about LA when the Dodgers are winning that the Lakers can't even capture.
   33. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4666279)
Has a team ever gone 0-162 before?

Maybe if you cloned Anthony Young.
   34. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4666280)
I think based on most of the stuff I have read, Nolan's role with the Rangers is similar to Magic's with the Dodgers. Other folks are running the show (and Magic's role is far more obvious).

They both filled the "celebrity front man" role, but, by all accounts, Ryan had much more day-to-day responsibility with the Rangers than Magic does with the Dodgers. Magic apparently isn't seen for weeks at a time around the Dodgers.

Edit: But man, if the Dodgers win with Magic as a figurehead (or whatever his role is), he will probably be the most beloved athlete in LA (he kind of already is, but if you win with the Lakers and seem to help the Dodgers win, you're a god). Magic is already a god in LA (and one of my all-time favorites) but if the Dodgers win, his hero worship might be off the charts. LA has been a Lakers town for a long time, but the when the Dodgers are good... wow. There is just something special about LA when the Dodgers are winning that the Lakers can't even capture.

Well, this would be even dumber than whatever credit is erroneously given to Ryan in Texas. Magic's great at filling the "Not Frank McCourt" role, and his presence helped to ward off a lot of tough (and still unanswered) questions during the ownership transition, but that's about it as far as impacting the Dodgers on or off the field.
   35. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4666297)
They both filled the "celebrity front man" role, but, by all accounts, Ryan had much more day-to-day responsibility with the Rangers than Magic does with the Dodgers. Magic apparently isn't seen for weeks at a time around the Dodgers.


I was exaggerating with comparing it to Magic's role, but no one can seem to quantify what he actually did with the Rangers. Seriously, what did he do during this time that anyone can quantify?

And Joe, if Magic is on a float when the Dodgers when the series again, no one is going to give a damn how dumb it will or would be to give him credit for them winning. It's irrational fan thinking. I know that Stan Kasten and Logan White (and Neddie for that matter) are the baseball folks behind the curtain, but man..

Magic is Magic.. it would be stupid to give him credit of course.. but the public perception is that Magic won 5 titles as a player, 5 more as a Lakers owner, and whatever number the Dodgers might or might not win. As much as folks love Nolan in Texas, his resume can never match Earvin's, ever.


   36. Nasty Nate Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4666312)
Seriously, what did he do during this time that anyone can quantify?


Well, if the stuff in #13 is correct, he had some say in the running of the baseball departments (input on hirings, etc.). I don't know if that can be quantified, but it seems to be of substance.
   37. BDC Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4666321)
day-to-day responsibility with the Rangers

Ryan would sit next to the dugout and watch every game, for sure. This is hardly a responsibility, but it gives a sense that the team president is there taking an immediate interest; and it was good PR, too.

Of course, people like Nolan Ryan. Across the street we have an owner that everybody hopes will get lost on his way to Cowboys games.
   38. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4666330)
Ryan would sit next to the dugout and watch every game, for sure. This is hardly a responsibility, but it gives a sense that the team president is there taking an immediate interest; and it was good PR, too.


Frank McCourt did that too..
   39. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4666343)
I was exaggerating with comparing it to Magic's role, but no one can seem to quantify what he actually did with the Rangers. Seriously, what did he do during this time that anyone can quantify?

What has Daniels done that anyone can quantify? For all we know, he plays video games all day while his lieutenants run the team's baseball ops.

And Joe, if Magic is on a float when the Dodgers when the series again, no one is going to give a damn how dumb it will or would be to give him credit for them winning. It's irrational fan thinking. I know that Stan Kasten and Logan White (and Neddie for that matter) are the baseball folks behind the curtain, but man..

Magic is Magic.. it would be stupid to give him credit of course.. but the public perception is that Magic won 5 titles as a player, 5 more as a Lakers owner, and whatever number the Dodgers might or might not win. As much as folks love Nolan in Texas, his resume can never match Earvin's, ever.

I didn't say you were wrong that Dodgers fans might give Magic credit; I said giving such credit would be dumber than it is for Rangers fans to blindly credit Ryan for the Rangers' success — which it would be. Ryan could have watched soap operas all day, every day, when he was with the Rangers, but it's at least plausible that someone with his baseball background was responsible for the Rangers' success. Magic, obviously, had no such baseball background whatsoever when he joined the Guggenheim group. Even in a city known for superficiality, crediting Magic for any Dodgers resurgence would be silly.
   40. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4666382)
What has Daniels done that anyone can quantify? For all we know, he plays video games all day while his lieutenants run the team's baseball ops.


Aside from being in charge of drafting, signing, or trading for most of the current roster? I dunno. But I think you are for more interested in giving credit to a figurehead than the guy who has actually made his moves and has been publicly accountable for them as opposed to a figure head that we have no idea about what or what not he did.

And when at anytime did I say that Magic deserved credit for the Dodgers resurgence? I just said absence any evidence, Magic is just as responsible for the Dodgers resurgence as Nolan Ryan was. Until people start pointing out a change in player development or a significant change in player acquisition (draft, free agency, etc) compared to what Daniels was doing before, it would probably be better to stop commenting on it.

Until then, Ryan was in the same figurehead position as Magic is currently with the Dodgers.
   41. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4666414)
but the public perception is that Magic won 5 titles as a player, 5 more as a Lakers owner


There's a perception that Magic was a Lakers owner?
   42. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4666433)
Aside from being in charge of drafting, signing, or trading for most of the current roster? I dunno. But I think you are for more interested in giving credit to a figurehead than the guy who has actually made his moves and has been publicly accountable for them as opposed to a figure head that we have no idea about what or what not he did.

Since when is a GM higher on a team's hierarchy than the team's president and CEO? Do you consider Theo Epstein to be little more than a "figurehead"?

Also, I've taken no position on whether Ryan deserves more, less, or the same amount of credit for the Rangers' success. I've simply pointed out that we can't "quantify" Daniels' contributions any more than we can quantify Ryan's.

And when at anytime did I say that Magic deserved credit for the Dodgers resurgence?

I never said you did.

I just said absence any evidence, Magic is just as responsible for the Dodgers resurgence as Nolan Ryan was. Until people start pointing out a change in player development or a significant change in player acquisition (draft, free agency, etc) compared to what Daniels was doing before, it would probably be better to stop commenting on it.

Given that Magic has no baseball background, the above is rather silly. Beyond that, whether it was mere coincidence, the result of some type of philosophical shift, or the result of having deeper pockets after the team was sold, the pre-Ryan Daniels years were less successful than the years after Ryan arrived. That shouldn't simply be hand-waved away. This notion that Nolan Ryan was little more than a "figurehead" during the time he was president and CEO of the Rangers seems like revisionist history.
   43. jingoist Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4666472)

" But man, if the Dodgers win with Magic as a figurehead (or whatever his role is), he will probably be the most beloved athlete in LA (he kind of already is, but if you win with the Lakers and seem to help the Dodgers win, you're a god). Magic is already a god in LA (and one of my all-time favorites) but if the Dodgers win, his hero worship might be off the charts. LA has been a Lakers town for a long time, but the when the Dodgers are good... wow. There is just something special about LA when the Dodgers are winning that the Lakers can't even capture."

The man has a magic johnson after all......
   44. Bug Selig Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4666480)
I just said absence any evidence, Magic is just as responsible for the Dodgers resurgence as Nolan Ryan was. Until people start pointing out a change in player development or a significant change in player acquisition (draft, free agency, etc)

So, unless he was Branch Rickey, #### him?
compared to what Daniels was doing before,

Other than winning and not existing on the precipice of bankruptcy?
it would probably be better to stop commenting on it.

Yeah, imagine if we started allowing people to post their thoughts. It'd be, you know, like this.
   45. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:59 PM (#4666506)
What is the percentage chance that Kinsler gets a fastball in the ribs/back/legs during his first PA against the Rangers his year?
90%?
95%?
   46. Baldrick Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4666511)
How bad would a team have to be to actually go 0-162?

If you composed a team out of the 25 best players in the world under the age of 18, they would absolutely win some games. Maybe 20? 25? What about the best single HS team in the country? They'd certainly win a few. Maybe 5-10? The best players in the world under 16? 15? The best HS team in Iowa? Wyoming? A team composed only of former major leagues over the age of 60?
   47. zack Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4666523)
I doubt any extant high school team could get 27 outs against an MLB team, let alone win a game.
   48. BDC Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4666535)
Enough guys are drafted out of HS and play competent pro ball immediately, especially pitchers, to make me think that a HS all-star squad could win a handful of games out of 162. Baseball is different enough in that from football (where we're looking at .000 in analogous circs). Think of it: even Miguel Cabrera would hit only .950 or so against a team of Primates. I'd pitch to him and seven of y'all would line up along the warning track; you'd catch a fly sooner or later. But an NFL defensive line would knock us, and almost all HS players, on their ### 100% of the time.
   49. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:24 PM (#4666537)
I agree with zack. They'd get 27 outs eventually, but not before they give up 27 runs.

I would guess that all but the top-tier college teams would likely go 0-162 playing a major league schedule.

Edit: and yes, football is different. The "hey, would Alabama beat the Jaguars?" rage was the stupidest thing ever. If Alabama played the Jaguars 162 times, they MIGHT win once.
   50. Monty Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4666540)
I agree with zack. They'd get 27 outs eventually, but not before they give up 27 runs.


We'll just use the rope-a-dope. Eventually, they'll get tired from jogging around the bases. And that's when we pounce!
   51. Baldrick Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4666542)
I would guess that all but the top-tier college teams would likely go 0-162 playing a major league schedule.

Really? There are plenty of guys who can play passably well at 18 or 19. Obviously they're exceptions, but Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, A-Rod, Griffey, etc. all played passably well before they turned 20. You're telling me that guys a cut or two below that couldn't win a couple 4-3 games agains the Astros or Marlins or Twins?

No-name guys, also-rans, and never wases regularly get spot starts when rotations get stretched. Obviously they lose more often than they win, but plenty of them pick up some wins here and there.

Maybe I'm underestimating the gap between 18 and 22. But it sure seems like good HS players aren't all that much different from low-level minor leaguers.
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4666544)
But it sure seems like good HS players aren't all that much different from low-level minor leaguers.


I think it's somewhere in between. Any D-1 school could beat a major league team given enough chances, and many of the sub-D-1 schools.

A large state all-star high school team would be similar to a low-level minor league team, and could probably beat a big league squad given 162 tries. But an actual high school team would be decidedly inferior, and I don't see them taking any games.
   53. Kurt Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:53 PM (#4666545)
We'll just use the rope-a-dope. Eventually, they'll get tired from jogging around the bases. And that's when we pounce!


Hey, there is precedent.
   54. Moeball Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4666985)
we also have to give Ryan credit for bringing in two of “his” guys — former Astros (and buddies) Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman — who essentially provided nothing to the franchise over the last two seasons. That wasn’t Jon Daniels. That was Nolan Ryan making a vague attempt at showing his prowess as a “baseball guy”. At $15 million, Oswalt and Berkman combined to produce +0.7 wins for the Rangers.


Granted, I only ever saw Oswalt and Berkman on TV - but I always got the impression that they were fairly intelligent players. Oswalt wasn't a thrower, he was a pitcher. Berkman wasn't a hacker, he made pitchers work to get him out.

Was maybe part of the thinking in bringing them in that maybe some of their smarts could rub off on some other Rangers players? I can think of several hitters in that lineup, for example, that could do with a bit more patience at the plate?

I wonder because when Greg Maddux had a year with the Padres at the end of his career I loved watching him - whether he was pitching, even though he was no longer really effective, but you could still see he had pretty good control and would work some hitters over pretty well - or whether he was talking to the other pitchers. He was kind of like a de facto pitching coach and I always hoped the Padres would have kept him on in that capacity as I think a guy who won 350 games with a mostly 88 mph fastball might have a thing or two to teach other pitchers...if they would only listen.
   55. DanG Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4667035)
Worst teams past 70 years:

Rk      Tm Year   G   W   L W-L%   RS   RA pythW-L%
1      NYM 1962 161  40 120 .250  617  948     .313
2      DET 2003 162  43 119 .265  591  928     .305
3      PIT 1952 155  42 112 .273  515  793     .312
4      PHI 1945 154  46 108 .299  548  865     .303
5      PHI 1961 155  47 107 .305  584  796     .362
6      NYM 1965 164  50 112 .309  495  752     .318
7      ARI 2004 162  51 111 .315  615  899     .333
8      HOU 2013 162  51 111 .315  610  848     .354
9      NYM 1963 162  51 111 .315  501  774     .311
10     PHA 1946 155  49 105 .318  529  680     .387 
   56. KingKaufman Posted: March 06, 2014 at 03:12 AM (#4667080)
You can read about the '62 Mets and the '52 Pirates in the book with, in my opinion, the best title in baseball-book history: "On a Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place."
   57. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 04:16 AM (#4667083)
Edit: and yes, football is different. The "hey, would Alabama beat the Jaguars?" rage was the stupidest thing ever. If Alabama played the Jaguars 162 times, they MIGHT win once.


This is just insane commentary. Of the major sports, the smallest gap between the worst, heighest level pro team and the next best team a level below, exists in the NFL.

No sport going do we have a frequency of first year pros completely dominate and nearly all drafted players easily fit in, as the vast majority drafted players are making rosters and sticking the entire season. Every year roughly 300 players get drafted and another 150 or so sign on as free agents. A good 350 NFL vets (usually aged 25-27) get replaced by rookies.

College football, especially a school like Bama, nearly every player in the 2-deep is getting drafted. Most importantly, Bama, due to the lack of a draft, can consolidate elite players in a way NO NFL team can. Thus, Bama has more 1st rd players pass through in a 4 year window than every single NFL team, more than most NFL divisions COMBINED. Bama in the past 4 years has had 29 players drafted in the past 4 years, 13 of which were 1st rd picks. The Jags have had 25 draft picks and just 4 in the 1st rd over the past 4 years. The average NFL career is less than 4 years. The Jags would have traded their last 4 years of draft picks for Bama's last 4 years in an instant. No effing way Jax goes 162-0 vs Bama when they have worse players in this set, which makes up the core of both teams.

The currently Jax team has 1 Bama player on the roster....an undrafted player no less.

A team like Jacksonville is so utterly devoid of top talent, Bama would have them outclassed at several key positons, not the least of which is QB and OL.

When other sports play exhibiton games top level vs next level down, you see the lower level teams win. Baseball, Hockey and basketball.

A football player's prime is aged 20-25. Two or three years fall in college. Younger football players = better football players. The NFL average age is now a record low 26.

   58. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4667116)
When other sports play exhibiton games top level vs next level down, you see the lower level teams win. Baseball, Hockey and basketball.


And I suspect the pros in those situations are not exactly killing themselves while the college kids are usually pretty fired up.

Take the top 53 Alabama kids (like an NFL roster), how many of them are going to be playing pro ball next year? As crummy as the Jaguars are they are 53 pros. Even if you say that 8-10 of them shouldn't be in the NFL the depth of Jacksonville is going to be dramatically different than Alabama. I think if you lined up the 53 Jags and 53 'Bama players and ranked them 1-106 you would have some decent balance through about #15 then it would just be Jag after Jag until you got to about number 45.
   59. BDC Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4667124)
Your post is persuasive, Lion, but I hesitate to agree fully. Like Seabiscuit, I wonder about depth. A lot of players from the most-elite college programs get drafted, yes, but how many have pro careers of any length in key roles, even on the weakest NFL teams?

There is of course historical data: the College-All-Star Game that was played from the 30s through the 70s. That was the absolute cream of drafted players from all the top college teams, pitted against the defending NFL champ. In early years the college stars won quite a bit. Then they won less and less often, for the last time in 1963, and then the game became non-competitive and disappeared. All the caveats about how seriously the game was played of course apply (it was an exhibition, the draftees were valuable properties, the champs weren't killing themselves, the champs were an existing unit and the Stars a makeshift one), but it was a game that was played with quite a bit of pride, as I remember. It didn't match the worst pro team against the best college team, but better versions of both, and as the quality of pro ball developed, one saw the gap between a pro organization and even the best rookie talent widening over the years. Remember too that those Stars were rookies, all post-seniors. Even the best college teams will have quite a few underclassmen starters who might get taken to school by even the most journeyman of pro veterans.
   60. Ron J2 Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4667126)
#46 The Cleveland Spiders actually had a tiny bit of major league talent and managed to play .130 ball.
   61. jmurph Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4667137)
For me this always breaks down at the QB spot. There are something like, what, 3 college quarterbacks in an average year that are good enough to start in the NFL? Maybe 5 at most, in a really good year? So a school like Alabama that produces 1st round offensive linemen and 1st round running backs is going to be able to do some things, and their defense filled with 1st round DBs is usually going to be able to do some things, but last year's (when these things were being said about Bama beating Jax) version of AJ McCarron is just not completing passes against even the worse NFL defense.
   62. Lassus Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4667147)
I doubt any extant high school team could get 27 outs against an MLB team, let alone win a game.

I mis-read this one as a college team, so I'll agree with those calling it an oversell - about college teams. MLB players hit grounders and fly balls to fielders in freaking batting practice.

A high-school team would certainly get outs for the reason above, but yeah, it might take a really long time.
   63. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4667148)
#46 The Cleveland Spiders actually had a tiny bit of major league talent and managed to play .130 ball.


They started out 17-79 and went 3-55 the rest of the way-

The guy with the most PAs for the 1899 Spiders was named Tommy Dowd, with 6000 career PS he was indeed an MLBer- a really bad one though, -1.6 WAR for his career

#2 was Joe Quinn, 7350 career PAs, 4.6 WAR
#3 was Dick Harley, 3250 career PAs, -0.6 career WAR
#4 was SS Harry Lochead who quite frankly was no MLBer, -2.0 career WAR, 95% of his career was 1899
$5 was Suter Sullivan who was also not really an MLBer
#6 was Tommy Tucker- who had been a legitimate MLBer for several years but was washed up by 1899
#7 was Sport McAllister, -3.4 career WAR (1/3 of which was in 1899)

Lave Cross was a legitimate MLB player, but he only played in 38 games before they sent him [back] to St Louis
A guy named Hemphill playd in 55 games and would later have decent career- 1901 to 1911, wasn't quite ready in 1899 (And if he had been he'd been in St Louis not Cleveland)

Their staff was even worse, a few bad MLBers and a bunch of guys whose MLB "careers" basically consisted of 1899 Cleveland.

I think to replicate the 1899 Spiders you would have to take the 4 or 5 worst MLB quasi-regular players, and give them starting jobs, guys like Yuniesky Betancourt, Greg Dobbs, Jordan Pacheco, maybe 1 or 2 pitchers like Jordan Lyles, and round out everything with random AAAAers (AAAers who get 10-20 MLB games in every other year)
   64. Ron J2 Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4667157)
#63 Yeah the tail end of the season pretty much shows the limits once a bad team starts to really mail it in (I mean they gave a start to a cigar store clerk without bothering to see whether he was as good as he claimed).

And they occasionally won using basically nothing but freely available talent (and not bothering to find the best freely available talent -- the Western league was aggressively pursuing the AAAA talent) and playing exclusively on the road.
   65. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 06, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4667165)
So a school like Alabama that produces 1st round offensive linemen and 1st round running backs is going to be able to do some things,


And sometimes those 1st round running backs are Trent Richardson, and not able to do any things in the NFL.
   66. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4667368)
For me this always breaks down at the QB spot. There are something like, what, 3 college quarterbacks in an average year that are good enough to start in the NFL? Maybe 5 at most, in a really good year?


The NFL has probably 5-6 elite QBs. Some years a couple more, some less. The next 100 QBs, some not even employeed, are essentially of the same quality. QB-ing in the NFL is interchangable. Blaine Gabbert is a joke, and he's going into year 4 as the starter. AJ McCarron is neither better nor worse.

Most NFL players are interchangable parts. Bill Walsh used to say there were maybe 100 difference makers, the next 2,000 players are commidities. There is a reason the NFL keeps getting younger (other than a terrible CBA). Younger players are better than older players and now they are incredibly cheaper too. Nearly all draft picks stick for the entire season. This year a record 95 players are leaving school early...most get drafted, nearly all of them will stick.

As for analyzing one draft class at Bama for example...you have to remember, the NFL has a prohibition against players of a certian age from entering the NFL. CJ Mosley, LB Bama, was draft ineligible for two years when he would have stuck in the NFL. College football players that start in the SEC are NFL ready. Many start at Freshman/Soph. It's merely an NFL rule that prevents some of these guys from leaving sooner. The NFL requires the least amount of adjustment of the four major sports. It's nowhere near the adjustment needed in MLB or NHL. This contrasts with the false bravado most NFL honks like to spew.

Besides, the absurd claim was the Jags, led by Blaine Gabbert would go 162-0 vs Bama. That's easy to refute. Not only is Bama bigger up front, they have a better and more highly paid coaching staff and better facilties. The only case being made is that Jax is better than Bama...which is not as difficult a case to make.
   67. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4667385)
And sometimes those 1st round running backs are Trent Richardson, and not able to do any things in the NFL.


Exactly. Most NFL players are commidities. TR didn't make that top 100, he's an interchangable part like the vast majority. TR had a better OL in college, that much is obvious. TR had just 1 1,000 yard season in college, he had a good, not great career. What can I say, the NFL overrated physical specimen to overdraft him. He should of been a 3rd rd pick. The NFL really isn't that good at scouting. TR had the profile of an average NFL RB in college.

On the flip side, Arian Foster had similar productivity in his SEC career as TR, with a much weaker OL, but went undrafted. Yet this undrafted player has been a top 5 RB the past few seasons.
   68. bunyon Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4667388)
Just as NFL v. college breaks down at QB, MLB v. college or high school breaks down at pitcher. If you have to just win ONE game, if you run a near MLB quality pitcher out there 30 times over a season, you'll win a few of those.

It couldn't be an existing team - even the very best high school teams have holes. But a California or Florida high school all-star game plays, say, the Astros 162 times? They win some, yeah. Largely win their pitcher shuts the Astros down.

I think in NFL the line differential would be too much. Even if the QB sucked, you could just run up the middle all day long as the 340 pound steroid riddled offensive line pushes the college line of 270 pound steroid riddled men around.
   69. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4667395)
Even if the QB sucked, you could just run up the middle all day long as the 340 pound steroid riddled offensive line pushes the college line of 270 pound steroid riddled men around.


This ingores reality. There is little to no weight difference among top college OLs vs NFL OLs. In fact, in the example we are debating, Bama has among the biggest OLs and DLs in all of football, college or pro. Bama also uses bigger LBs than most NFL teams. In fact, Bama is just bigger than most NFL teams. Also College teams actually value run blocking more. NFL teams value run blocking much less.

The gap between top college football and bottom NFL is smaller than any other sport. Every year rookies come in and not just win NFL starting jobs across the league, but dominate. Make pro bowls, all pro lists.

There is no gap in QB-ing when comparing the bottom of the NFL vs the top of college. Just as there is no gap between the #1 starting pitchers for the Astros and the top MILB team. In fact, the top MILB SP is better than the most of the bottom #1 SPs in baseball. Just as Russel Wilson was better than 20 NFL QBs when he was at Wisconsin.
   70. BDC Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4667397)
It's an interesting contention. One would expect that as time passes and pro leagues get better and better at maximizing the flow of top talent in their direction, they'd separate themselves more thoroughly from high youth/amateur competition, in any sport. And I think that does track historically what's happened. But if Lion's view is correct even to some degree, the NFL has recently gotten weaker at optimizing talent, and the very best college programs have gotten better, narrowing a gap that opened up dramatically in the late 20th century. It's plausible, though I'm still far from convinced.

By contrast – say, in basketball and baseball – the accumulation of international talent in the North American major leagues has become more and more intense, and the scouting and funneling of the very best players to the majors more effective. Ninety, 100, 120 years ago, you can imagine the weakest major-league baseball clubs scuffling against high minor-league clubs, for sure. 45 years ago, I can quite well imagine UCLA with Alcindor, Rowe, and Wicks taking a playoff series from some ABA tail-ender. I don't think similar things could happen nowadays. Of course the dynamics have changed (with changing rules on underclassman eligibility to play pro ball, eg) but that's what we're talking about, changed dynamics.
   71. JJ1986 Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4667401)
The gap between top college football and bottom NFL is smaller than any other sport.


Not with this year's 76ers.
   72. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4667425)
By contrast – say, in basketball and baseball – the accumulation of international talent in the North American major leagues has become more and more intense, and the scouting and funneling of the very best players to the majors more effective. Ninety, 100, 120 years ago, you can imagine the weakest major-league baseball clubs scuffling against high minor-league clubs, for sure. 45 years ago, I can quite well imagine UCLA with Alcindor, Rowe, and Wicks taking a playoff series from some ABA tail-ender. I don't think similar things could happen nowadays. Of course the dynamics have changed (with changing rules on underclassman eligibility to play pro ball, eg) but that's what we're talking about, changed dynamics.


Interesting conversations could be had here.

I'd argue that due to the NFL's prohibition against athletes under 22 years of age, the gap is smaller than any sport. Mike Trout would have been barred from MLB if they had the NFL rule. This allows college football to collect eliete talent longer, for multiple seasons, when in every other sport, when you master your level, you move up and out.

Over half the first round this year will be underclassmen. Many of which played just 2 seasons of college ball. Football players peak at age 20-25, this is my contention...it's more raw athleticism at most postions, less skill. Plus the wear and tear of a football player is significant. Excepting pro-style QBs and offensive tackles that are more pass blockers than run blockers.

Aaron Hernendez, interestingly was the youngest NFL player two years in a row, age 21 and age 22, his first two seasons. He was immediately above average too.

The one slot I'll conceed the NFL tends to have than college almost never does are 350 lb DTs. They are rare even for the NFL, but that kind of weight isn't usually found on humans aged 20-25 because higher metabolism. Most of these uber fat-sos added 25-50 extra lbs after they hit 25 and their metabolism slowed. That said, Bama finds the guys that are 325-400 at 19-23 somehow.

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