Matthew Postins’ latest observations on the D/FW sports scene
By Matthew Postins
The Texas Rangers had won 19 of 23 entering Saturday’s game with Chicago. If the Rangers were a dish you’d need pot holders to handle them. If they were the sun you’d need protective eyewear to look at them. They’re red-hot at the perfect time. Plus, they were 3.5 games ahead of the Oakland A’s. When the streak started on July 29, they were six games back. So the Texas Rangers have made up nearly 10 games in less than a month. Whoa.
By the way, the Texas Rangers are 13-3 in their first 16 games without Nelson Cruz. The Rangers were conciliatory when Cruz chose the 50-game suspension over appealing the suspension and staying on the field. The Rangers’ play without him says something different, as in, “You know what? Maybe we DON’T need you after all.”
Can we please, finally, give Ron Washington a manager of the year award? Look at the attrition in the starting rotation. Look at the exceptional bullpen the Rangers have put together. Look at how they’ve finally replaced the offense of Josh Hamilton, reinventing themselves as a National League team that runs the bases with impunity. Now, with Cruz gone, if this Texas Rangers team wins the AL West and ends up with the league’s best record – which is certainly possible – how can you not finally recognize Washington’s abilities?
By the way, a GM of the Year award for Jon Daniels wouldn’t hurt either. He gambled on letting Hamilton go and he was right.
The Cowboys hosted their first game at newly-christened AT&T Stadium. Can you hear me now? No? Well, so much for that enhanced WiFi network. Actually, I’m writing this before the game, so for all I know the folks at Ma Bell have finally figured it out.
I feel for Lance Dunbar. He was rolling this preseason, but that ankle injury is going to set him back a ways. I’m interested to see if Joseph Randle takes advantage of the extra playing time or if the door will still be open for Dunbar when he returns.
I can’t figure out why the Cowboys can’t lure a veteran guard. Surely Sean Lee’s new contract didn’t swallow up all of this year’s remaining cap space?
Speaking of Lee, I’m all for keeping him long term. He has every tool to be an All-Pro linebacker. He just has to stay healthy. It’s the only “if” in an otherwise mutually beneficial contract. But let’s stop the whole “$7.5 million per year average is a bargain” talk. It’s only a bargain to Lee because he’s the one walking away with upward of $41 million. To everybody else it’s money going out the door.
I’m guessing Dez Bryant’s extension will be next. And I’m guessing the Cowboys will need to get Miles Austin’s contract off the books before they start those discussions.
If Jerry Jones were head coach, the starting offensive line would be set. Tyron Smith at left tackle, Ron Leary at left guard, Travis Frederick at center, Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard and Doug Free at right tackle. If there’s one thing that Cowboys fans should be down about up front is that there wasn’t nearly as much competition as the Cowboys were hoping for, especially at right tackle where Jermey Parnell was hurt after a week of camp and never came close to challenging Free. It makes me cautious about how much improvement there will be up front this season.
Should the Cowboys consider cutting Jay Ratliff? I’m just going to throw it out there. Ratliff hasn’t practiced this entire preseason and the players behind him – Sean Lissemore, Nick Hayden and Ben Bass – have been solid. As I told a follower on Twitter (hey, I have followers! @PostinsPostcard), I’m not sold that Ratliff is a good fit for the 4-3. His numbers have gone down each of the last four years. And, he’s been banged up for a year. The problem with cutting Ratliff now is the enormous amount of dead money that would accelerate via his cap hit. If he’s cut now the Cowboys have to carry $10 million in dead money this year. The Cowboys might have to keep him now to avoid pain later.
College football season starts next weekend. I’ll be in Utah and Colorado for three college football games in four days. Meanwhile, the Cowboys will be wrapping up preseason and the TCU Horned Frogs will be hosting LSU at AT&T Stadium. It’s about to get really hectic. I can’t wait.
One last thing. Major college football season starts next week. Need to get ready for college football season? We have you covered. One of my side projects is College Football America, a publication that myself, Chuck Cox (who contributes here on The Front Row) and Kendall Webb (who will be helping us with some SEC football come September) have been working on all year. The College Football America 2013 Yearbook Encyclopedia is something that we believe is the first of its kind – a book that covers every single college football team in the US and Canada. That’s 919 teams, 919 schedules, 919 team capsules, and nearly 100 conference previews. It’s full color and it features dozens of photos, most of which we’ve taken ourselves. It’s a publication on a massive scale. Yes, it’s big – but if you have a Kindle, an iPad or even a laptop you don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot. It’s $5.99 at lulu.com. You can click here to purchase.