With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Rangers squad each day this week. Today's topic: What's the vision?
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has the usual simple messages prepared for his team heading into Spring Training.
"I don't think they have changed," Banister said. "When you look at our club and our style of play, the things we've done on the field, and you combine that with the core group of guys we have on the field. We know our guys, so it's still defense is a premium. Continue to handle the baseball. Championships are won through making and capitalizing on other teams' mistakes."
The message and vision really doesn't change from year to year.
"There are things going into Spring Training and as the season lays out that we can continue to be better at," Banister said. "I look at our club offensively, there were nights where we were the product of a hot hand ... a sustainable offense, and continue to work on the skill set to have when you are facing tough pitchers, and runs are tough to come by. Also continue to be better off the mound, look at our ball/strike ratio, we've got to be better, the ability to take the inner half away.
"I was given some great advice a long time ago, whenever you show up to the ballpark, don't think you don't have things to work on. We'll always be working on those things."
The Rangers haven't been prone lately to laying out a grand vision for the organization or enlightening the baseball world/general public on the overall philosophical direction or mission statement of the franchise.
That's hardly the club's style and such grandiose concepts are subject to change almost daily without notice anyway.
The Rangers' approach is simple: show up each day and try to win a baseball game by playing good solid baseball. Don't get too high or too low, worry about the past or fret about the future. The front office is not worried about windows opening or closing, it's all about winning now and keep it going, and the ownership group, while providing a framework for a budget, is silently on board with the redoubt damn-the-torpedoes approach.
The Rangers have worked hard and spent much money on a productive farm system. But if there is a major trade to be made that involves giving up top prospects, the club won't even blink if it feels it will help win now. If they feel a young player can help the club win now, the Rangers will not be hesitant to bring him to Arlington post haste.
The Rangers go into Spring Training with the simple vision of winning this season. When it is over, they will take the same approach next season and the year after that until the unlikely event somebody decides differently.
What's the vision? Just keep trying to win one day at a time by playing baseball the right way. It's that simple.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.