Kauf Drops: Injuries, Draft Picks, and Loyalty

Could Johnny Manziel possibly slip to the Dallas Cowboys?I sure hope not. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

Stop with the injuries already

A few weeks ago, I listened to 105.3 FM The Fan and I heard Mac Engel talking about the conversation he had with two different baseball scouts during his time in Surprise, Arizona. He asked both what they thought about the Texas Rangers and their upcoming 2014 season and what I heard surprised me.

While I know it wasn’t Engel’s opinion, regardless of the fact that I’m sure he got killed for it by any number of listeners and fans, I wanted to disagree with the scout’s opinion as well. According to these scouts, the Rangers would be lucky to get to 80 wins.

Two weeks later, that prediction seems a little more prophetic after injuries to Jurickson Profar, Geovany Soto, Engel Beltre, and not to mention already being without Derek HollandYu Darvish won’t be ready for Opening Day, Matt Harrison is coming off multiple surgeries on his back last year, Colby Lewis missed all of 2013 and all he has left is hope that there’s still something left in his arm, and Neftali Feliz may not even break camp with the big league squad.

Remember that saying, “you can never have enough pitching?” That phrase is coming into play in a big way with what’s going on with this team going into the season.

I know there’s no reason to look back and say, “well this team should have this, that, and the other,” but when Holland went down with his injury, I was surprised the Rangers didn’t at least chase a few other starters out there, especially with the concerns to Harrison, Lewis, and Feliz.

There are 162 games in a baseball season, therefore I’m not going to sit here and predict what a few others have and say the Rangers are going to finish third in the AL West, behind the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Angels, respectively, nor will I predict this team to finish the season with a below .500 record.

If you ask my opinion, I’ll tell you the under .500 thing is not going to happen. The Rangers are going to get Derek Holland back, perhaps as early as June 1st, they’re going to get Jurickson Profar and Geovany Soto back about the same time, you could have a 100 percent healthy Matt Harrison and Martin Perez could scoff at the “sophomore slump” notion.

Put all that into the argument and tell me how this team finishes with that kind of record. While some of these predictions might come true, I’m rooting for them not to happen for no other reason than to watch the reactions of the “doom and gloom crew” and the excuses for being wrong that follow.

 

Here come the Johnny Manziel rumors again

A few months ago I would have told you the idea of the Dallas Cowboys drafting former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was not only asinine but it wasn’t going to happen.

First, there was no way Manziel was going to be drafted by a team that wanted him to sit for a year or two to “learn the offense.” Unless he’s ok with that idea, which I highly doubt, I don’t see that happening.

Second, the Cowboys not only have their franchise quarterback in Tony Romo, a year removed from signing a new five-year deal that Dallas may end up regretting in the long run, but they also have Kyle Orton as the backup and they just signed former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden. If they draft Manziel, what does that say to not only Orton and Weeden, but to Romo? The Cowboys couldn’t possibly be ready to part with Tony Romo… could they?

However, two months later, the idea is starting to become more and more interesting as the NFL Draft continues to creep closer and closer.

As of right now, Blake Bortles (Central Florida), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), and Derek Carr (Fresno State) could be the three quarterbacks drafted prior to Manziel, unless the Houston Texans are so taken by the idea of keeping the hometown kid, well, at home that they take him with the number one overall pick.

However, I’ve named three quarterbacks but there are at least four teams (Houston, Oakland, Minnesota, and Cleveland) in the first 15 picks that will be in need of a quarterback and could use their first round pick on that specific position. So, how could Manziel possibly slip to pick 16 and the Dallas Cowboys?

The easy answer? He won’t. The more complex answer could hinge on one of those four aforementioned teams not using their first round pick on a quarterback, though the odds of that happening, at least in my opinion, isn’t very good.

The idea of Johnny Manziel being drafted by the Cowboys is an interesting one, especially when Jerry Jones thinks of the dollar signs and the revenue he would bring in from jersey sales among several other items, but if it’s about making the team better and filling the needs this team has going forward, Manziel just doesn’t fit one of them.

 

Trading Dirk might be tough, but is it time?

I know this conversation has come up before, but I wanted to ask the question again – is it time to trade Dirk Nowitzki?

It has nothing to do with not wanting to finish his career in Dallas and it has nothing to do with the fans being done with him because neither of those things are true. But sometimes, as an organization, you have to know when it’s time to move on and try to get what you can get for one of the better players in the NBA.

I tip my hat to Dirk, especially moving his contract around, allowing owner Mark Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson to bring in other talented players to make another run at a championship. But after a few years of trying, and failing, you have to wonder if the writing isn’t on the wall or if the Dallas Mavericks will ever make another run at the title with Dirk still wearing the Mavs’ blue and white.

It won’t be the easiest thing to do, but sometimes this is about business and about doing what’s right for the team and the long term goals of it. Loyalty has to be put aside no matter how hard that might be.

About Todd Kaufmann

Growing up in San Diego, CA, Todd made the move to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in the spring of 2008. Since then, he has covered events such as the Byron Nelson Classic, the Colonial Tournament, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, numerous home games for the Texas Rangers as well as high school football around the metroplex. You can also find some of his written work in the weekly Prosper Times and monthly Prosper Magazine. He and his wife Kerri make their home in Little Elm, Texas with their daughter, Hannah, and yellow lab, Ranger. Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter | More Posts

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