The Texas Rangers have the third-best record in the American League, a starting pitcher that might just be the best in the league, and a potential superstar combination in its future middle infield. Yet, in one reach-for-the-stars move, the club revealed what management really feels about its current situation: time is running out.
Signing Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract, as the Rangers did Wednesday, seems, at the surface, to be an innocent decision. But it exudes a sort of desperation that GM Jon Daniels hasn't shown in his time as the (now) lone ranger in charge.
Daniels is the man that stared down the barrel-of-a-contract with Josh Hamilton, and before that, held his ground in moving Michael Young wherever the team saw fit (eventually out-of-Texas). Heck, the guy took on Nolan Ryan and came out on top.
All that to say: Jon Daniels doesn't seem to panic unless panic is warranted.
So, apparently, he believes the Rangers' offense is worth panicking about.
Texas just flat-out isn't scoring like you'd expect a potential World Series contender should. The Rangers rank ninth in the American League in runs scored (357), and are hitting just .260 as a team. And the true run-producers in the lineup are all climbing in age.
Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Nelson Cruz are all in their thirties. Lance Berkman sees "40" not far in the distance. Throw in the grueling July and August heat ballplayers have to work through in North Texas, and you might be facing a serious problem come September.
So, Daniels decided to make a risky move on a guy that's old enough to have a mid-life crisis.
Ramirez, who has 555 career home runs, will forever be known as, "Manny-being-Manny." But now, at 41-years old, all a Rangers' fan – and Daniels, for that matter – cares about is "Manny-being-meaningful."
Will he be the player who brought a Puig-like bolt-of-energy to the 2008 Dodgers' lineup? Or will he be the "just-collecting-a-paycheck" guy who recorded just one hit in his brief stint with the Rays in 2011? The odds are that it'll be somewhere closer to the latter.
But who knows? All that's guaranteed is that each step in process will be fascinating to watch.
"Hail Mary" attempts usually are.