Whenever former Rangers manager Buck Showalter comes in to Arlington with his Orioles team, I cannot help but think back to how badly the Rangers club was going in the last years of the Tom Hicks ownership.
The club had no direction, no credibility and Showalter asked Hicks, “What are we?”
Showalter wanted to know what direction Hicks wanted to take the club. Were the Rangers going to be spenders for big ticket free agents like Alex Rodriguez or were they going to become a club that used a farm system and watched their budget carefully like the A’s and Twins? Showalter managed the club from 2003 to 2006. His task was large.
Hicks made that terrible move of overpaying Alex Rodriguez. $252 million for ten years. Hicks eventually went bankrupt. Creditors were owed more than $525 million.
The only good thing left from his days as the Rangers owner—GM Jon Daniels.
As GM Daniels has led the club the postseason four times in the last six years. From 2009 to 2015 Texas has the fifth highest winning percentage in the majors. I hated when he let Showalter go but he’s hired successful managers Ron Washington and Jeff Bannister. The club has never been in better shape and this week they came in with the best record in the American League.
When Showalter comes back to Texas, I always think of how bad it used to be under Hicks. I wonder what could have been for him if he stayed on with these new owners and direction.