In the past 2 weeks both the Oklahoman and the Austin Statesman have run articles saying that the Rangers may not renew their player development contract with the RedHawks when it expires after the 2010 season. My first thought was that they clearly must not read this blog because WE have been talking about that for over a year! LOL
The tone of both articles is that its a Rangers (and likely a Nolan Ryan) decision. I don't understand why we need to give the Rangers all the power. When a player development contract ends, either team can decide not to renew. Heck, it was Albuquerque who told the Marlins they'd rather be affiliated with the Dodgers. Why don't we start looking around and talking to teams now and decide whether we want to renew with the Rangers? I personally don't see what benefit we really have being a Rangers affiliate, other than that it is close enough to drive down to see our favorites when they are called up. However, its not like more than a handful of us do that anyway. I don't think the fact we are affiliated with the Rangers is a draw in attendance. To the extent people are Rangers fans (and I have a hard time believing such a creature exists anyway) they sure don't seem to show up at the ballpark. I see plenty of Cubs and Cardinals gear, even some MFYs and Red Sox, but I don't often see any fans showing "Ranger Pride". We get some good players, but so do most other teams in the PCL. The Rangers have some good players and some very nice ones, but how often do they land a prospect on Baseball America's Top 25? After this current wave of players moves up (and I suspect most will be here by 2010) there really aren't any "big time prospects" left in the system that people would pay money to see.
I like so many of the Frisco guys that it would be tough to see them in a AAA uniform other than a RedHawks uniform. At the same time, how many of them will actually make it to AAA anyway? Really, the only substantial and tangible loss would be Bobby Jones because I can't imagine seeing him in the visitors dugout. That may happen anyway though, so why not evaluate our options and be in a position to get rid of the Rangers if something better comes along? Sure the Rangers would like us to just wait around and let them make the decision, but why should we care what the Rangers would like us to do?
As I have been saying all along, the Rangers signed the extension with the RedHawks in 2004 making us their affiliate until 2010. Isn't the fact that another extension hasn't been signed since then a clear sign? So let's do something about it now before we end up with a Blue Jays/Vegas situation. Go out and talk to other teams and see what is available. It may turn out that the Rangers affiliation is the best for us, but will we know until we evaluate our options?