The Rangers are 56-49.
They’ve lost 8 out of 10 since the All Star Break, 12 of 15 overall, and currently rest 6.0 games behind the Athletics in the American League West.
The recurring theme — which is more like a really bad dream sequence that’s been seemingly impossible to escape from — continued Sunday afternoon without fail, as the Rangers were shutout, 3-0. It’s the 2nd consecutive day they’ve failed to score, the 3rd time in 4 days, and the 8th time on the season. If you want to read more groundbreaking analysis regarding the fact that a team has never, in the history of Major League Baseball, won a game where they scored no runs, then I would suggest checking your local beat coverage.
At the moment I’m lost in a shroud of conflicting emotions;
Acknowledging that this recent stretch of baseball has been brutal to consume — and even more perplexing to process — I’m still not totally convinced the Rangers aren’t good enough to make it to the postseason. Because unless you use the last three weeks as your reference point, there isn’t a rational theory suggesting Texas can’t overcome a 3.0-game hole in the wild card race.
On the other hand, I’m thinking 2013 might be a lost cause, and that the best route to take would be to sell off any player who doesn’t fit into the construct of the future (i.e. Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar would be off-limits).
Aside from that, David Murphy, Nelson Cruz, A.J. Pierzynski, and Joe Nathan would all seem to be obvious trade candidates — since they aren’t tied down by multi-year commitments. Oh, and if you want to get fancy you can put Matt Garza back on the market; after one dominant start his value can’t be any lower than when the Rangers acquired him, can it? This is, of course, operating under the assumption that Jon Daniels and the higher-ups are not looking to extend Matt Garza for something in the neighborhood of 6 years and $100 million.
Then lastly, there’s my sentimentality complex. I can’t shake the growing feeling that this will be Ron Washington‘s last season at the helm of the Rangers, and that after 2013 — when fixtures like Nelson Cruz and David Murphy will most likely be gone — Texas will have very little remaining from the championship teams we knew and loved, who immensely helped in turning the organization from an afterthought within the industry, into the standard to replicate.
For all Washington’s faults, and his incessant tactical blunders, he has been The Guy through the best years the franchise has ever experienced. Even if it wasn’t his responsibility to bring in talent like Josh Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, et. all, it was his job to see that the talent manifested itself in a winning way on the field. To that end, he will be missed, and, truth be told, I imagine my animosity towards him will turn to fondness once he’s removed from his current role.
But then again, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Rangers rattle off 18 out of 20.
So who knows.