A QUICK LOOK - The Texas Rangers are not the Yankees
by Paul AND Ethan Semendinger
November 2, 2023
We wanted to get this posted quickly, so this piece won't have the super in-depth type of writing you expect from us both, but, as we talked this morning, Ethan and I noticed a few things about the Rangers that they do much differently than the Yankees.
We wanted to get this posted because the topic is extremely relevant today.
These ideas come in no particular order.
Please feel free to add other ideas in the comments. As best as we can during the day, we'll add our thoughts to the discussion.
* The Rangers have a well-respected manager - Bruce Bochy has won numerous World Series now. He is well-respected in the game. He is a leader. He commands respect.
* Analytics don't run the team - Bruce Bochy is also not a manager who looks at analytics and bases his decisions on what the numbers say, but instead by who his players are. Of course he uses numbers, only a fool wouldn't, but the team isn't run by the numbers as the Yankees seem to be. (Bochy wins a lot, his way seems to work.)
* The team has balance in the lineup and on the pitching staff - The Rangers have left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters. They have left-handed pitchers and right-handed pitchers. The team is balanced.
* The Rangers have a strong core of players developed through their system - The Rangers have numerous key players that they developed through their system. But, part of the core of the team aren't just homegrown players, they are good quality homegrown players.
* When the window opened, the Rangers jumped all-in - Rather than cutting corners, the Rangers went for it, big, once they saw a chance to win. The General Manager and the owner made the moves it took to win. They looked at the big picture.
* The Rangers spent BIG - Sort of like the above, but I am sure, as they bask in the glory of a World Championship, the Rangers do not regret, at all, spending on Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and even Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer. The chance to win was there (and like the above) the Rangers did what they could to win. They didn't hope, they made things happen by getting key players. They sent a message to the players - we are in it - we're not taking half-measures.
* The Rangers also acquired other key players - This included some former Yankees such as Jordan Montgomery and Aroldis Chapman (and Nathan Eovaldi). They also made smart trades to help get them to this point. (I wonder if they'd rather have Joey Gallo or Ezequiel Duran.) In regard to Chapman, they acquired him on June 30, well before the trade deadline. They didn't wait, they moved. The Rangers created the market. They did not wait for the market to come to them. The Rangers were proactive, not reactive.
* The Rangers believed in their players - We have written , a lot, about how ridiculous it was to trade Jordan Montgomery last year, in a pennant race, and for the team to insult him and say that he had no role in the post season once they sent him away. The excuse never made sense, but more, it is the type of comment that reveals a lot about how the leaders of the Yankees think and operate. Well, Jordan Montgomery gets the last laugh in the end, but, more than that... when the team's leaders insult (directly or indirectly) the players, it creates an atmosphere in the organization that can be corrosive. When players feel like the team doesn't believe in them, it does not create an environment conducive to winning. Any leader in any business knows this. The Yankees need to do a much better job in this area. Montgomery is just one of many examples.
Much of what the Rangers did are things we have advocated for the Yankees to do, for years and years on these pages.
The Yankees talked about the need for experts to figure it all out to get them back on track. (Aren't the people who run the team supposed to be the experts? Isn't that what they're getting paid to be? If they aren't, why are they making decisions - why have they been making decisions?)
But, rather than finding experts, all the Yankees need to do is look at the smart things that smart teams do to win. This isn't difficult.
For a team with the resources and (former) reputation as the Yankees, following a plan such as the above should be simple.