It's easy to spot the negatives for the 2008 Rangers as they enter the month of May. Horrible defense, bad situational hitting, inconsistent pitching—I could go on and on.
The on-field stuff doesn't bother me that much since I passed on the Kool-Aid the Rangers were offering in the offseason. I simply look at the young players they have and try to imagine where they will be in a few years.
However, two players absolutely need to go because their attitudes, well, stink.
I'll start with one who's already got one foot out the door. That's Jason Botts.
I find it hilarious when I hear the argument that the Rangers didn't give him a chance. It's complete and total nonsense since the guy is 28 years old and on his fourth chance. Baseball is a three-strikes-and-you're-out sport for a reason.
Memo to Mr. Botts, if you are a DH and cannot hit the broad side of a barn, then you are not a major league DH.
I will say this, in defense of those bloggers who insist you need a certain number of at-bats to adjust to major league pitching, you're right. However, in the case of Botts, there has been absolutely no improvement since his first major league at-bat.
His swing is still ridiculously long, causing him to strikeout when the pitcher hits the inner half of the plate with his fastball. The only hits he gets are when the pitcher makes a mistake. Good hitters hit a pitcher's good pitches; anyone can hit a mistake.
Upon his designation for assignment, Botts took the advice of his blogger fan base and trashed the Rangers organization for not giving him an opportunity. In exactly which of the past four seasons have we not seen Jason Botts strikeout on a regular basis while showing absolutely no improvement whatsoever?
Jon Daniels needs to either trade or release this guy, because he is of no use to the Rangers anymore. Maybe Japan needs another MLB reject for one of their teams.
As for Gerald Laird, his attitude is simply about acts of incompetence and nothing more. It's pretty stupid for any player who hits as horribly as he does to cry when the team brings in a better hitter to take his spot.
The only part of Laird's game that is major league caliber is his defense, throwing out runners specifically. If he has a problem with Salty coming in, well that's his own fault.
Like Botts, Laird has had his shot and blown it. It's time to move on. Salty is the future of this team, not Gerald Laird. And that's something he clearly has a problem with.
The Rangers have enough problems. They do not need attitude problems in that clubhouse right now.