Merry Christmas, Ranger fans. Kevin Millwood is a Ranger. But the best present may be yet to come. What could be bigger than Kevin Millwood you ask?
Yes, that’s right. I think that the Millwood signing is one of the first steps in bringing The Rocket to the Ballpark.
It is currently 8:45pm as I write this entry (actually as Friedo types this entry) and no more than 2 hours ago Tom Hicks told me that, if Clemens decides to play in 2006, the Rangers will be a player.
It’s great to hear those words. But, right now they are just words. It will take more than words to get Roger Clemens. It will take action.
If Clemens decides to play, he is not going to sign with a team that hasn’t proven that it is serious about winning now. The Millwood signing coupled with the acquisitions of Adam Eaton, Vicente Padilla and Brad Wilkerson prove that the Rangers are serious about winning in 2006.
The Rangers were very aggressive in their pursuit of Millwood. It is believed that they offered at least 1 more year and at least $4 million more than their closest competitor. Ordinarily I would say that the Rangers overpaid for Millwood. But, in this case the Rangers did exactly what they needed to do. They got their man. And that is important.
There is no doubt that Ameriquest Field is a hitter’s ballpark. There is no doubt that a pitcher that comes to this ballpark is probably going to have to deal with some inflated numbers. There is no doubt that it is going to take a mentally strong man to pitch in Arlington.
In Millwood, the Rangers snagged a quality pitcher who is not afraid of the ballpark. They took the first step in reversing the years and years of bad reputation that has been built in Arlington.
Millwood realizes that while his numbers may be inflated in Arlington, so will his opponent’s. He knows that he is not pitching against the park, he’s pitching against his opponent.
If Millwood succeeds in Arlington other pitchers will take notice. Other pitcher’s including Roger Clemens. Clemens is at a point in his career where he is not as concerned about his ERA as much as he is concerned about winning.
The Rangers are in the process of turning around their reputation. And, the signing of Kevin Millwood is a huge step in the right direction.