Texas Rangers Roundtable Part 2: Looking Forward


To view part one of the roundtable you can click here. But after discussing what has been surprising, dissappointing, and discussing the leadoff situation we will move ahead.

The purpose of our roundtable is to give our readers a range of perspectives on several issues. With two issues left to discuss, let’s get to it.

Our first question deals with the Midsummer Classic.

4. Should the All-Star game continue to determine who gets home field advantage in the World Series? If not, how should home field be determined and should be All-Star game mean anything?

JD Moore: This is easily the stupidest thing that the MLB has done to make the All-Star game “significant”. It makes it completely unfair to the teams in the World Series to have home-field advantage decided for them in June, especially by players that aren’t on those respective teams. Home-field should be determined by best record, just like in the NBA.

Nathan DeWitt: I could write a weeks worth of different articles about this topic, but I’ll keep it short and to the point. First of all, the All Star game absolutely should not determine home-field advantage in the World Series. It’s a stupid rule. 84 All Stars were chosen this year due to veterans declining to show up. So don’t tell me they even care about home-field advantage in the World Series. The All-Star game has plenty of problems, and this unfortunate circumstance only adds to it. If it were up to me, home-field advantage would go to the team with the better regular-season record. Isn’t that the way it used to be? This rule clearly has not made the Midsummer Classic any more meaningful to the players, and probably has made it more awkward. These guys want to have fun and put on a show for the fans. But when it’s in the back of their mind that the game might mean something to them in a few months, they have to take it somewhat seriously when they’re on the field. It’s like when there’s a mom in the room with a bunch of teenage guys. They don’t want her to be there, because they want to have fun without being held down by her presence. Same goes for All Star game.

Ryan Osborne: Hate to break it to you, Bud, but having the World Series home-field advantage decided at the All-Star game doesn’t make the Mid-summer Classic more or less competitive. It must be crushing, I know. What it does do, though, is put the fates of the contenders in the hands of late-game reserves, many of which are on teams with little to no chance of making the playoffs, much less the World Series. Let an exhibition be an exhibition and give home-field advantage to the team with the better record.

Tyler Paslick: The all-star game should be like the NBA all-star game because the players in baseball can’t go completely serious or completely fun and have it be an entertaining event.  If it meant nothing then the players would be out there having fun doing goofy things and it would be great to watch.  In the current system they have to keep the thought it the back of their mind that this game could cost my team the world series.  This is a little biased towards the AL, but I think you need to do it by interleague results.  The league that wins the more games during that time period should be able to have the 4 home games in the World Series. Some people say the team with the better record but that would benefit teams that play in bad divisions even more than they already do.

Alex Apple: I like that the MLB All-Star game is not like the Pro Bowl where it means nothing. However, the fate of two teams who have fought for over 170+ games to make it to the World Series being decided by an All-Star game makes very little sense. The MLB All-Star game is already a source of pride for the respective leagues because they do not play each other often, so there does not need to be any added incentive. I think that after Bud Selig is no longer commissioner the All-Star game will no longer decide home-field advantage. I, along with a lot of other fans I believe, will enjoy watching the midsummer classic regardless of what its significance is.

And for our last question….this should be an interesting one…

5. If you were Jon Daniels, what one trade would you make for the Rangers at the trade deadline?

Ryan Osborne: Heath Bell. Texas could use a starting pitcher but with the market looking the way it does now (Edwin Jackson is probably the best piece out there) Daniels and co. should focus on getting some bullpen help. The Padres are usually sellers this time of year and Texas, whether it’s the guys they have on their roster now or their array of minor league prospects, has the pieces to make a deal that won’t be too much of a blow to their future. And Bell seems to be the perfect fit. The San Diego closer has expressed his willingness to slide into a temporary setup role for a contender, which is exactly what Texas could use seeing that Ogando is expected to remain a starter the rest of the year.

JD Moore: If any kind of trade is to be made, I would consider it to be Julio Borbon for prospects, relief pitching or a utility player. The outfield is already filled enough with great talent, especially with Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry playing well. Borbon isn’t adding much to the Rangers right now and could be used as good trade leverage… that is if anyone actually wants Borbon… but someone would take a chance on the University of Tennessee grad.

Nathan DeWitt: The Rangers sit atop the American League West, leading the Angels by one game. They have a solid 51-41 record, but should not be complacent with where they are. Bottom line, the Rangers are going to have to make a move for a starting pitcher if they want to do this year what they did last year. If not, the final stretch of this season would be similar to last, except without one of the best pitchers in baseball to lead the rotation. Colby Lewis and Derek Holland haven’t been good enough, and the Rangers can’t win enough without a full rotation of starting pitchers. The problem is, there are about 15 other teams out there who will also be looking to deal for a SP. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Tyler Paslick: The hitting is there.  They have been injured but the lineup has the ability to be one of the best in baseball.  The starters have been phenomenal this year.  Even Derek Holland who doesn’t have great numbers has flashed glimpses of being great with his two shutouts.  I think Daniels needs to look for another arm out of the bullpen.  With the exception of Neftali and Darren Oliver the rest of the bullpen leaves a lot to be desired.  The starters are a combined 16 games over .500. That means that the bullpen is 6 under .500 at this point. So I think the best option would be another good arm at the back end of the bullpen or a 5th starter is conceivable as well.

Alex Apple: Jon Daniels ought to look very hard at acquiring Heath Bell. Bell has said that he would accept a set-up role if he is traded to a contender. What also would make this move appealing to Daniels is that Bell could be resigned in the offseason or immediately, and then the Rangers would have their closer for next season when Neftali Feliz heads to the rotation. The Rangers will have more money to spend thanks to good ticket sales and their lucrative TV contract, so Bell could be brought back. On the other hand if the Rangers do not think that they would be able to resign Bell (or simply do not want to sign Bell) then the deal becomes more complicated. Jon Daniels has proven that he will trade for “rent-a-players” and Bell may very well be the big piece that Texas gets at the deadline.

Well that concludes the roundtable. Let’s hope that our next roundtable is a pre-postseason roundtable instead of a beginning of the offseason roundtable. Thanks for reading. Check in later this week for the TCU football roundtable.

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