Monday newsletter time: Young’s MLB experience a new element in Rangers’ decision-making
(AP photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
One thing that not many general managers have on their resume these days is big-league playing experience.
That doesn’t mean a non-player doesn’t know what he’s doing, though maybe that’s why the game has trended toward analytics.
Rangers GM Chris Young logged 13 big-league seasons as a starting pitcher, and his playing career earns him respect in the clubhouse. When he talks to the team, the players will have more respect for what comes out of his mouth when he is discussing the performance on the field.
Young has an open mind and an appreciation for analytics and biomechanics, where the Rangers feel like they have made strides in recent seasons. But his eye test and experiences as a player will help shape his decisions as GM.
For instance, while he said closer isn’t a priority, the championship-caliber 2014 and 2015 Royals teams he was on were buoyed by a stellar bullpen that included closer Greg Holland (remember him from April)? The Rangers haven’t invested much in the back of the bullpen, but maybe they do in the next couple of seasons.
Young might also have a little more sympathy for Martin Perez than the number crunchers.
Perez likes to pitch to contact rather than always going for the strikeout. He prides himself on logging innings, and finished with 196 1/3 this season.
Young wasn’t exactly a strikeout pitcher. He also never cleared 180 innings in a season, so he probably appreciates a pitcher, like Perez, who can log nearly 200.
Young might even value the win.
That will all play out over the next four months, but it’s a new element among the Rangers’ decision-makers.
$50,000 for Luka shoes
What does a pair of Luka Doncic game-worn autographed shoes have to do with Rangers baseball? Answer: the Do It For Durrett Foundation.
A pair that had been donated by the Mavericks, and hand-delivered by ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon, sold for $50,000 at the DIFD The Ocho event Friday night at Four Corners Brewing in Dallas. A foundation that formed in the aftermath of the sudden death of former Rangers beat writer Richard Durrett raised more than $105,000 to help families affected by the sudden loss of a parent.
Former Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels helped create the foundation along with Rangers sideline reporter Emily Jones, who does not yet have a contract for 2023, and beat writers Anthony Andro and me.
While the shoes were the big draw, the big star, as always, is Kelly Durrett and the three kiddos. Also a board member, she gave her blessing to create DIFD and routinely speaks to families who are in the same terrible situation she was in 2014 after Richard died.
If you missed the Durrett event but want to help, click here.
Thanks for your support.
Saturday was quite a day in the MLB playoffs. The Braves, the defending world champions, were eliminated. The Dodgers, who had the best record in baseball this season, were eliminated. The Astros finished off a sweep of the Mariners by surviving an 18-inning marathon, 1-0. It was a fun day on the college gridiron, too. So, for all those who were super busy over the weekend watching sports instead of reading about them, here’s the latest from Rangers Today in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Thoughts on things
Friday on the Farm: Now trending
Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Colby Lewis in-studio
Hello, Monday. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.
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Jeff Wilson, email@example.com