THE NEWBERG REPORT — April 22, 2008

The
silver lining when your team is struggling through a string of bad play,
whether it’s a pluckless veteran NBA team that retreats predictably into its
shell when it counts every April, or a baseball team beset by a contagious rash
of plays unmade, runners left in scoring position, and heartbreaking losses
(Texas has led in 15 of its 21 games), is that it’s more likely that changes
will be made.  

The
risk with teams that muddle along without ever exceeding expectations but
without really falling terribly short of them is that they tend not to take
risks.  While that’s never going to be a real issue with Mark Cuban or Jon
Daniels, neither of whose guts can ever be questioned, it was last season’s
disappointing first half that prompted the trades of Mark Teixeira, Eric Gagné,
and Kenny Lofton which accelerated this franchise’s progress dramatically – and
in that sense, thank goodness for the slow start in 2007, without which we
probably don’t get to enjoy what David Murphy brings to this team or imagine
how Max Ramirez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz
and Engel Beltre and others have a chance to make things a lot better here in
the next few years. 

I’m
not sure if there are imminent changes (or if so, what type) in store for the
Rangers, who have dropped 10 of 12, but you have to believe that it’s at least more
likely
that there will be.

Despite
what the columnists in town might think, I know that there’s a huge segment of
loyal Texas Rangers fans who care a lot about what goes on with this team, who
are in this for the long haul.  (There’s no other way to explain, for
instance, that Scott’s and my mailing list has not only increased by 260 members
[to nearly 4,000] in the last four months, but has actually had 93 new members
since the season began, and only five drop off the list, amid a month of
disappointing win-loss results.) 

We’re
in this through thick and thin, and not necessarily any less passionately
during the thin. 

I’m
not suggesting I know what changes might be in store or when, or that I know
what changes should be in store.  But as an unconditional fan of
this team, and as a believer in Jon Daniels, if there are changes to be made, I
have confidence that they will be made for the right reasons and with the
long-term health of this franchise in mind. 

And
that, if nothing else, has me as keyed in to this team every day as I would be
if its 7-14 record were flipped.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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