Karma can be cruel, and so it has been for the Texas Rangers. After an ugly parting of the ways with former team president Nolan Ryan, the man that reinvigorated the franchise with its greatest three-year run in history, the Rangers have been in a free fall in which anything that could go wrong has gone wrong.
The latest body blow to the Rangers is an elbow sprain to starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who was wisely signed for a six-year $56 million contract. Darvish faces the possibility of Tommy John surgery and will seek other medical opinions before deciding whether or not to go under the knife. A pitching staff that was among the best in the game just a couple of years ago has now been decimated by injuries.
On the Hook for Millions
Along with the $56 million deal for Yarvish, Texas general manager Jon Daniels also spent $28.5 million for Derek Holland, $55 million for Matt Harrison, and $12.5 million for Martin Perez. Darvish was the closest thing to a sure win every time he took the mound and was the definition of a true stopper. Without Darvish, new manager Jeff Banister is staring at least 90 losses in the face for his first season on the job.
Darvish has a career record of 39-25 with a 3.27 earned run average. A classic power pitcher, Darvish struck out 680 batters in 545 1/3 innings of work.
World Series Heartbreak Began Slide
Daniels idea of locking up arms was celebrated at the time, but the failure of his vision is in line with the bad luck that the franchise has had since blowing 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rangers needed just one more pitch for the franchise’s first ever World Series championship but could not finish in one of the most heartbreaking losses of all time. Things have never been the same since. After an epic 2012 collapse in which the Oakland A’s overtook them on the final day of the season to win the American League West, the Rangers have been in rapid decline.
Harrison has suffered from back problems ever since signing his deal and has had three surgical procedures for his back in order to try and launch a comeback for his career. He could only make four starts last year and his future is doubtful at best.
Holland literally tripped over his dog which caused him to fall down the stairs at his home, which injured his knee last year.
Perez has been out with Tommy John surgery and is expected to return in July.
The Rangers wallowed in anonymity for much of their time since arriving from Washington in 1972. Ryan changed all of that and made them the talk of the town. The Rangers seem to be paying the price for kicking the man that made them relevant to the curb.
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