“He’s tired of losing.”
Chris Young has been tasked with alleviating the frustration of both of them Rangers principal owner Ray Davis and a fan base that lasted six years in a string of losing seasons that is now the longest since the franchise arrived in Texas.
Davis was mentioned about his criticism of the Rangers’ whereabouts when he shot John Daniels in Aug. Installing Young as the main decision-maker on the baseball team should be a paradigm shift that would pull the Rangers out of the sluggish hunt for the Houston Astros and the Seattle Mariners, who kicked off the Major League Series on Tuesday.
Davis clearly expected more from Rangers in 2022, especially after the team shelled out $500 million for Cory Seeger short and second-team captain Marcus Simin. Both have had solid seasons. Their biggest drawback was that none of the shooters were novices.
This is of course a broken record for Rangers as an organization, with some brief and notable exceptions.
Young was tasked with changing that. He’s been getting increased salaries for doing this. He had also talked about trading some talented young pieces in the minor league system to make that happen as well.
Appointing a manager is Jung’s first major decision. The second is how to handle this off season. He spent two years in a job that was meant to be a partnership with Daniels. Prior to joining the Rangers, he worked in Major League Baseball. Now, he’s the one making the decisions for the first time in a front office in the Major League.
One has to ask the question if he is ready for that?
“It’s people management,” Young said recently. “It’s about relationships, communication, establishing systems processes, and clear expectation criteria.”
That’s too little for most tastes. Decision making in an organization like the Rangers is certainly a collaborative thing, and so far Young has made some changes to the scouting division of the team. Given how stocky the organization is at the moment, these types of changes seem unnecessary. MLB.com has an organization’s minor league system ranked among the best in baseball.
But the expectation is the competition and all the talent in the palace may not change next season. Rangers admitted that they failed to achieve what they had hoped for in 2022. With 68 wins, Young said the team failed by about 10 games to achieve what he expected. They were hoping to win at least 78 games, 16 more than the 60 they won in 2021.
For the record, all of Inside the Rangers All employees who made pre-season predictions predicted at least 72 wins. So the Rangers didn’t live up to the employees’ expectations either.
Young admitted last week that he didn’t really have time for self-reflection. You’ll be hard pressed to find that time when you’ve been running the show yourself for two months. What’s interesting is that he talked about staying disciplined about what he believes in as a baseball person.
“I know from the opinions of so many others and the wisdom around me that we will make good decisions,” Young said. “I am convinced what the winning team should look like, and what the environment should look like. We will remain disciplined about that.”
He knows what he wants. But is this the right thing for the organization? This knowledge only comes with time.
Remember back in 2007 when Rangers replaced Mark Teixeira with a payload full of prospects? Sure enough, in hindsight, the gangsters were traded for the Rangers. I’ve made Bones for Daniels as a GM for years. But it could easily have worked a lot differently.
This is the mysterious area of development for baseball and players. The player we say can’t miss, sometimes doesn’t. The man who was taken in round 62 because a friend asked the team manager to draft his son, like Mike Piazza, became Hall of Famer.
Young says he’s casting a wide net. Good to hear if you’re a Rangers fan. But the Rangers have struggled to attract top players to the organisation. And this is the free agent market that can be filled with great talent. Just how much salary does Young get?
He needs enough to give the Rangers a spinning gap. The talent on the farm is not ready yet. And Young was right last week when he said player development wasn’t “linear”.
But Davis is “tired of losing”. Young gets it. But Young also knows the goal is not just to win next year.
“The goal is that when we start winning, we win for a long time and that’s important to be on top here,” Young said.
So, this is the front end? Mark the date and save it away. we will see.
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