Monday, October 13, 2008

The 1989 Rangers Ascendent!

Eight months after naming Nolan Ryan team president, Jim Sundberg has moved up on the Rangers' corporate ladder as well:


The Texas Rangers promoted former catcher Jim Sundberg to senior executive vice
president Friday. Sundberg will assist team president Nolan Ryan in oversight of the Rangers, and become the liaison for the club's spring training facility in Surprise, Ariz.
Sundberg has worked in the club's front office since 2004. He is also a former Rangers television analyst.
In related moves, Pete Incaviglia has been named strength and conditioning coach and Scott Fletcher has been hired as Vice President for Inexplicable Career Longevity.

UPDATE: Now that I look at it more closely, I suppose there's something to be said for Fletcher's non-horrific bat and ability to get a bunt down. That said, longevity is still the watchword of that 1989 Rangers team, isn't it? Guys on that roster:

Nolan Ryan: Physical freak;
Julio Franco: Even bigger physical freak;
Ruben Sierra: One of the quieter 20-year careers you'll come across;
Harold Baines: They practically had to pry the DH position from his cold dead hands;
Charlie Hough: Started pitching when Nixon was in office; stopped when Clinton was;
Jamie Moyer: Reagan-to-Obama;
Kenny Rogers: Have left arm, will travel;
Sosa and Palmiero: Better living through chemistry (see update below)

I'd have to guess that that Rangers team would be the best "if all of the players on the roster had their best year at the same time" team in recent history. Of course that range would span some 20-odd years, but it would be fun all the same.

UPDATE #2: Folks in the comments have noted that apart from some evidence-free innuendo, Sosa has never been tied to PEDs in any way. I realize this, and I'm kicking myself for even making the comment about him because I have long gotten mad at the guilty-until-proven-innocent stance so many have taken with respect to Sosa on the issue, and have written about it in the past.

In that regard I'm an idiot hypocrite and/or an example of just how pernicious loose talk about steroid use can infect the the discourse. I was obviously just going for a cheap joke there, yet something in my brain defaulted to Sosa-as-roider, probably because I've heard it so often. There's no excuse for it.

That's not to say he didn't do steroids. We may suspect one way or another, but I don't know and neither does anyone else besides Sammy. The point is that we shouldn't presume guilt.

5 comments:

dlf said...

The Mets of recent years have had a bunch of teams like that. Picture a lineup of:

(stats listed BA/HR/RBI/OPS)

SS '06 Reyes 300/19/81/115
CF '06 Beltran 275/41/116/150
LF '98 Alou 312/38/124/157
1B '00 Delgado 344/41/137/181
3B '07 Wright 325/30/107/150
RF '03 Nixon 306/28/87/149
2B '98 Easley 271/27/100/108
C '07 Castro 285/11/31/127

With '99 Tatis (298/34/107/139) and '00 Castillo (344/2/17/111) coming off the bench.

And a staff headlined by:

'99 Pedro 23-4, 2.04
'04 Santana 20-6, 2.61
'04 Perez 12-10, 2.98
'05 Sosa 13-3, 2.55
'99 Wagner 39 saves, 1.57

From my youth, the Gene Autry Angels always seemed to be a season or two behind the curve. How about this lineup from 1982:

1B '77 Carew 388/14/100/178
2B '79 Grich 294/30/101/145
CF '79 Lynn 333/39/122/176
RF '69 Reggie! 275/47/118/189
DH '79 Baylor 296/36/139/145
3B '82 DeCencis 301/30/97/149
LF '79 Downing 326/12/75/142
C '78 Boone 283/12/62/115
SS '76 Burleson 291/7/42/109

With a staff of

'79 John 21-9, 2.96
'68 Tiant 21-9 1.60
'77 Goltz 20-11, 3.36
'68 Bahnsten 17-12, 2.05
'86 Witt, 18-10, 2.84
'86 Aase 34 saves, 2.98
'80 Corbett 23 saves, 1.98

Anonymous said...

Re Sosa: Got any evidence against him, other than the visual? A failed test, an anonymous player accusation, a syringe in the locker? Anything?

Craig Calcaterra said...

Anon: I don't, and in retrospect I shouldn't have included him there because I have myself long taken issue with people who lumped him in without any evidence for doing so. In that regard I'm both (a) an idiot hypocrite; and/or (b) the author of an example of just how pernicious loose talk about steroid use can infect the the discourse. I was obviously just going for a cheap joke there, yet something in my brain defaulted to Sosa-as-roider. There's no excuse for it.

That's not to say he didn't do it -- we may suspect one way or another, but I don't know and neither does anyone else besides Sammy -- but the point is that we shouldn't presume guilt.

Mark said...

Don't make me point out that Sosa has never been accused of juicing anything other than his bat.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Mark -- see previous comment. I'm going to make a change to the article to reflect this.