This is the 2nd in a series of articles examining how small payroll teams have found success in recent years.  The goal is to try and determine what methods were successful in an attempt for the Pirates to emulate them.  The Minnesota Twins were the first team studied, in case you want to see the methodology of these articles.

The Pledge

Entering the 2010 season, the Rangers had the #1 ranked farm system (as determined by Baseball America) and a large amount of present-day talent on the roster.  They were coming off of an 87-75 season in 2009 and expectations were high.

But due to Tom Hicks’ sports holding company Hicks Sports Group (an umbrella group containing the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, and Liverpool in the English Premier League) defaulting on interest payments on the $52...

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