John Hart has resigned/been fired as the Rangers' GM. This move was WAAAYYYY overdue. Just about every move Hart made blew up in his face. He handled the media and fans by ignoring them. And he seemed to spend more time scouting golf courses than ball fields.
Hart was a known, if unloved, quantity. Now we've got Jon Daniels as GM, a 28 year old with 5 years of baseball experience. In truth, JD (as Hart kept calling him during the press conference) looks about 18. But, hey, if Theo Epstein can do it as a 28 year old, so can Daniels, right?
So, where should JD start? Here's my two cents:
1. Sign some friggin' pitching. I know, I know. That's so obvious that it's ridiculous to even say it. And here come the arguements why this is so hard: the Launching Pad in Arlington, the heat, not enough talent out there on the market, money, yadda yadda yadda. Enough excuses! There are some guys out there. If you need to money-whip them to get them to surrender their ERA, then do it. I know the Rangers have tried to get top-name pitchers in the past (Johnson, Schilling, Hampton, etc), but enough is enough. No more excuses.
2. Trade some of the outfield. This is one area where the Rangers have got a little something, at least in left and right field. Package Kevin Mench and someone and get a real center fielder and leadoff hitter.
3. Figure out why this team, which can hit like crazy, seems to go to sleep at the plate with runners in scoring position. Is this Rudy Jaramillo's doing? Is it some sort of karma thing? I'm mystified. These guys can HIT, but only with bases empty.
4. Don't schedule day games after Memorial Day. I know this isn't the GM's call, but SOMEONE needs to wake up out there. The only people who like August day games are sadistic dermatologists.
That's a start. This team has some real talent, but was completely let down by the pitching staff this past year. Address the rotation and get lucky with the bullpen, and next year might be a lot of fun.