By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"We're not going to give fans the same product, not the status quo," Daniels says. "We're going to attack the off-season."
Before they trick us into caring about next season's opener April 2 at Anaheim, the Rangers need to re-sign free agents Matthews and pitchers Vicente Padilla and Adam Eaton. Minor-league pitching sensation John Danks needs to be in the rotation. And, breaking the worst franchise in professional sports' perpetual rebooting, the Rangers need to provide fans with optimism based on something other than the intangible theory of "Dammit, we're due!"
Most important, Young needs to be respected, valued and marketed like a superstar.
Only the fourth player to record 200 hits in four consecutive seasons, Young deserves to be the centerpiece of Texas' next sell job. The Rangers have already opened contract extension negotiations with his agent, laying the groundwork for Young to sign a deal that would make him a Ranger for life.
"I believe we've got great talent," Young says, packing for another road trip that will conclude another disappointing season. "We just need to add some pieces. I'm fine with the direction we're going. We just need to play better baseball."
In the end, Young wants what all Rangers fans crave:
More cowbell. Less bullshit.