Fans are fierce, fans are proud and most of all without fans there would be no baseball. Texas Rangers fans have lived through the lows of the tragic game 6, the sickening 1988 season where they went 70-91 and some even remember the first year out of Washington where the fledgling Rangers went 54-100. These fans have also cheered through the highs of being back to back AL Champs in 2010/2011, two of Nolan Ryan’s no hitters and seeing Ryan’s 5,714 strike out. Through it all from the original curly W to the emergence of Mike Napoli, Rangers fans have earned the right to be loud and proud.
It has been said that fan bases shouldn’t attack, hate, trash, despise, etc other teams, or opposition players, GMs, coaches whatever. I think that the first thing any fan is allowed to do is have their opinion. People who help a team exist through buying a single game ticket, a beer, or a jersey can and should be free to express their opinion in any way they feel is appropriate and be respected by the baseball community for the role they play in this game.
The Texas Rangers have for years been on the edges of serious baseball consideration because of bias in traditional sports reporting that concentrates on certain teams more than others. It is a given that the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies will always be given a higher place in the pecking order of baseball teams regardless of how they are actually playing. The same could be said of the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Saint Louis Cardinals
Now that the Rangers have played their way forcibly into the forefront there is still resistance to considering the Rangers a first tier team. Even with the fact that the Rangers are the defending back to back AL champions Texas has been over shadowed in previews of the 2012 World Series by media favorite teams like the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Angels. For having come within one strike twice of winning the 2011 World Series where is the love?
This offseason the Rangers made the highest bid with Nippon Ham Fighters to negotiate a contract with Japanese star Yu Darvish. Even though the national media had prematurely made the Toronto Blue Jays the team to win the bid and had gone so far in some cases to claim the Rangers were broke. Prince Fielder is still on the market and had a meeting with the brass of the Rangers and still national writers don’t think the Rangers can sign Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder because of money issues.
Ranger nation has extreme confidence in youthful General Manager Jon Daniels. Daniels led the Rangers out of the 2000-2006 era that saw the Rangers either last in the division or next to last and into 1st in the American League with an extremely talented farm system. Yet Kevin Goldstein seemed to doubt the legitimacy of the fan base to question his comparison between Daniels and Yankees GM Brian Cashman. I know that Goldstein is a self-confessed fan of no one team, but his decision not to live and die with a team is not the normal path of a baseball fan. Goldstein used a term of endearment of the Ranger GM for the GM of a club that is widely called the Evil Empire. If he cannot understand how that could make some fans upset then I don’t think he can really understand the fan that chooses to sit in 100 degree heat in a metal chair to cheer on a team that is dead last.
True baseball fandom doesn’t have a period of time, proximity, age, gender or race that matters. You could have never seen a game in person of your team and just fell in love with baseball and in my heart you are the same as the fan who has been there since day one. Baseball love beats in the heart and in the blood of the fan. Enjoy this time at Fan Fest Ranger fans for you will always remember it.