Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sorry Cubs Fans

It's official. Congratulations to Major League Baseball's 2007 World Series Champs, the Texas Rangers.

What? It's only 2006? And that playoffs just started? And the Rangers are sitting at home? Well, none of that matters today. Not with the news of the Rangers firing manager Buck Showalter. The past ten years, firing Buck Showalter has been baseball's version of a golden ticket. Take a little trip back in recent baseball history with me.

From 1992 through 1995, Showalter managed the New York Yankees to a 313-268 record, a .539 winning percentage. Under Showalter's leadership, the Yanks were in first place at the time of the strike in 1994, and won the wild card in 1995 before losing in the divisional series to the Mariners. Following that season, Showalter was fired. The next season, the Yankees went 92-70, won their division, and won the World Series.

Showalter found his way back into a mangerial position in 1998 with the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks. In three seasons in the desert, Showalter posted a 250-236 record, a .514 clip. The Diamondbacks won a division title in just their second year of existence, but lost in the divisional series to the Mets. Following a third place finish in their division in 2000, Showalter was shown the exit. The next season, the Diamondbacks went 92-70, won their division, and won the World Series.

After another short hiatus, the Rangers handed the reins over to Showalter. In four seasons, the Rangers cumulated a 319-329 record, a .492 winning percentage. ARod's monstrous contract burdened the Rangers during Showalter's rein, even after his trade to the Yankees. The Rangers failed to make the playoffs under Showalter, but showed some signs of life the past couple of seasons.

So my prediction for next year is that the Rangers will go 92-70, win their division, and win the World Series. Why not? It's happened twice before, and as we all know, trends like this always continue. So after the Cubs hire Joe Girardi and miss the playoffs the next three years, they should think about hiring Showalter for a few years, and then fire him and hit paydirt. Of course, all bets are off if the Cubs continue to sign "big name" free agents like Jeromy Burnitz and Jacque Jones.

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