Yes, in the midst of Notre Dame’s coaching turmoil and their season on the brink, I have baseball on the mind. Some news has recently come to light that Tom Hicks wishes to buy the Texas Rangers…again. This causes some ever so slight concerns from me, so what do I do when I have said concerns?
Write an open letter to the man that he will never read.
Dear Mr. Thomas Hicks,
I have recently heard that you wish to still maintain ownership of the Texas Rangers. In fact, you managed to get some big local names involved in this mix as well: Roger Staubach and Nolan Ryan. Now I’m sure you are quite happy with these big local names that are legends in the Dallas area. How can Rangers fans not be happy knowing that the most famous Cowboy and most famous Ranger now own the Rangers?
Simple, you are still a part of it.
Mr. Hicks, this thin veil you have created will only serve to mask your true intentions and will only further harm this franchise. What you see is just another opportunity to profit. This past season, the Rangers have created a buzz that is even bigger than the 90’s when they won the AL West three times. That buzz translates to more fans in the empty seats that you’ve been starting at ever since the turn of the millennium. Finally, the club which has done nothing but pile on debt (which must not be affecting you too much, you just had a huge party at your place for Brett Hull), can actually make you money.
Here’s the problem with your vision that you are seeing through your greedy-green glasses: we’ve seen this dance before, you aren’t in this for a title, you are in it for the money. Even if MLB approves this re-buy of the team, you will be beyond fiscally conservative and the fallout will do nothing but hurt this franchise…again.
We are already seeing evidence of this. Marlon Bryd, one of the gigantic catalysts on the club with both his bat and glove seems all but gone. You will also need to extend Josh Hamilton in the near future as his contract is coming to an end. Your young guns, Elvis Andrus, Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, and Julio Borbon will be looking for their big payday in just a couple of seasons when they become arbitration eligible. Somewhere along this supposed run to postseason glory you will likely need to add either a solid veteran arm in the rotation and likely another solid bat as well.
Are you really fiscally prepared to be able to do this?
Your window is running short. You simply cannot cross your fingers and hope 2010 can be a season that puts you back in the black and be able to make some moves to take a run at 2011. We were promised 2010, not 2011, stick to it. With last seasons’ success coupled with the promise at a bright future, this offseason is the best chance we have to wrestle away a big name or two from the other clubs that constantly outbid us for their services. The thing is though, our offers need to be on par with everyone else.
You and I both know that you can’t do it. History has shown since A-Rod, you won’t do it.
Mr. Hicks, I speak for a large section of Rangers fans in saying we are sick of it. Leave the Rangers in solid financial hands and be done with it. You have two other sports franchises to take care of in the Dallas Stars and Liverpool F.C. Stop spreading yourself and your pocketbook so thin.
Fans don’t care about your business savvy. I’m quite confident that you could indeed turn a profit within a year or two if you do indeed re-buy the club. You didn’t get rich by accident. However, fans are interested in wins and losses–not restructuring debt, finding additional investors, number crunching, selling more ads, or whatever else you have planned.
Ranger fans have suffered long enough. We are so close to being a legit contender for years down the road, but we need the cash. Ranger fans deserve an owner like Mark Cuban or Jerry Jones. While we may be upset with decisions they make or the way they act, fans of the Mavs and Cowboys know that money will not be an issue when making personal decisions. They have never had to ask the NBA or NFL for money to make payroll–you have.
Mr. Hicks, I appreciate the effort you put into the club, but it is time to let someone else come in to finish the job. You have helped the club in the front office with John Daniels and Nolan Ryan. In return, they have delivered us coaches like Mike Maddox. The result in 2009 was a solid, young club that is one or two pieces away from being a force to be reckoned with.
Now we need the money to complete this journey. Mr. Hicks, please allow this club to be placed in the hands of someone that has the money now and is willing to spend it. Don’t do it for your bottom line (without the Rangers, you will still be in good shape I’m sure), do it for the sake of Ranger fans and the future of this franchise.