Matthew Postins’ latest D/FW sports observations
By Matthew Postins
Once upon a time the Texas Rangers had a nice problem at first base. They had Chris Davis, the East Texan with the powerful bat and the great glove, and they had Justin Smoak, the University of South Carolina’s all-time home run leader who seemed destined to be a professional hitter in every sense of the word.
So, naturally, not too far removed from that dilemma the Texas Rangers’ starting first baseman is Mitch Moreland.
The Rangers loved Smoak’s makeup, his swing and his collegiate pedigree. But they used him to leverage a trade to get Cliff Lee in 2010, a trade that put the Rangers in the World Series for the first time. No harm there. They still had Davis and Moreland.
The Rangers loved Davis’ glove and his left-handed stroke ideally suited for the Ballpark’s home run porch. But he struck out way too much. So in 2011 the Rangers dealt Davis and Tommy Hunter to Baltimore for Koji Uehara to fortify their bullpen for a second straight World Series run.
That left Moreland as the Rangers’ future first baseman.
So, through May 9 Moreland was hitting .287 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI. Davis is hitting .301 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI. Smoak is hitting .236 with a home run and 5 RBI.
None of this is to say that the Rangers got it right trading Smoak or wrong trading Davis. It simply exposes the mercurial nature of player development. My belief is that of the four major pro sports, identifying and nurturing talent is by far the hardest in baseball. That’s why teams draft so much of it every year. You never know who will rise to the top or how long it will take for that talent to mature.
Smoak was drafted in the first round and looks like he might end up being a bust. Davis was drafted in the fifth round and looks like he might finally be rounding into something. Moreland was drafted in the 17th round and looks like he’ll manning that right corner in Arlington for years to come.
Like I said, you never know.
CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman names Tony Romo and Dez Bryant two of Top 10 most overrated players in the NFL. Freeman’s lucky no one cares enough to do a Top 10 overrated sportswriters list. Actually we all are. As long as Skip Bayless is alive, however, none of us will ever be No. 1.
Writing drivel like this is exactly why I take a short break after the NFL Draft. We as sportswriters should never be left to our own devices.
You can certainly make a case for Romo. But including Bryant after just three seasons – and coming off a career year at that – seems deliberately provocative to me.
The payout to Big 12 teams for media rights will be anywhere from $22-25 million this year, reportedly. TCU won’t get a complete share of that, but they will get a partial share each year until 2016. But it’s far better than what they would have gotten in the Big East (now the American Athletic Conference). The new AAC football deal with ESPN is through the 2019-20 season and is for $126 million total.
Yeah, the Horned Frogs really dodged a bullet there. Had they not I imagine Gary Patterson would be elsewhere right about now.
Time to eat a little crow. I was really pushing for the Rangers to sign Kyle Lohse. Well, after he took the loss in the Rangers’ victory on Wednesday night in Milwaukee he’s 1-4. Playing for the Brewers doesn’t help, but a baseball scout I am not.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Sports Illustrated’s Baseball Preview issue, go find one. Read the story on Brian Cole at the end of the magazine. You’re going to finish reading it and go, “This guy sounds like another Sidd Finch.” Trust me. He really is the best player you never saw play. Unless, like me, you had the pleasure of seeing him play for an entire spring at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, in 1998. I covered the Bulldogs that spring. He was every bit what everyone quoted in that story says he was. I was in the newsroom at the Tyler Morning-Telegraph when I heard he died. It set me back. I was getting ready to tell people that “I knew this kid when.” He was unbelievable. He really was.