Believe it or not, this is a lost season for your Texas Rangers. Blasphemy! Outrage! Loud noises! We can all kick and scream and holler as much as we like, but barring a meteoric rise like Justin Bieber on YouTube, the 2014 playoffs are as good as gone. However, despite the gloom and doom, this season still has fruit to bear. So, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try not to fall down again when the Texas Rangers lose back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back games.
Finding happiness – or at least contentment – during a season staring down the barrel of 100 losses is tough, but not impossible. If you’re a fan who changes his or her opinion on the Texas Rangers’ entire future as an organization on a pitch-by-pitch basis (you know who you are), it’s probably pretty easy to slip into the doldrums, realizing your October will be spent in a cubicle or in a classroom instead of at the ballpark.
Don’t be afraid to admit it – we’re spoiled. Four straight 90-win seasons can change a fanbase. We expect wins, preferably a lot of them. But in a season like this, you have to change your perspective. I’ll show you how.
There are 3 perspectives to choose from, each with varying degrees of difficulty, and each defining your Texas Rangers fanhood for the next two months. Choose carefully.
Perspective #1: “It’s All Good, Man”
This fan will pretend as if the Rangers are right in the thick of the playoff hunt. You’ll hear these fans utter phrases such as “We’ve got the league right where we want ‘em” or “Just need a 15-game winning streak and we’re right back in it” or “That second Wild Card is so close!”
This perspective requires a happy-go-lucky attitude, an acute oblivion to obvious surroundings, and a mild case of insanity. I wouldn’t recommend this perspective to anyone who operates heavy machinery.
Perspective #2: “Just Wait ‘Til Next Year…”
This fan already wrote off 2014 and is currently putting the final touches on their trip to Surprise, Arizona. Often impatient, you’ll see these fans screaming in traffic, complaining about amusement park lines, and leaving in the 7th inning.
Other symptoms include: binge-watching Netflix because you have to see how it ends, yelling at neighborhood kids on your lawn, and throwing the remote after bad pitches.
This fan also enjoys repeating the word “tanking” to any person within earshot.
I’ll guess most Texas Rangers fans fall into this category, consumed with what’s happening next instead of what’s happening now. There’s still enjoyment to be had during this torrentially bad season. You just have to change your perspective, which segues nicely into the third perspective.
Perspective #3: “It’s not the destination; it’s how you get there.”
This fan is a high-thinker, an intellectual who prides him or herself on their keen ability to see the goodness in everything. In layman’s terms, you’re not a Debbie Downer.
Instead of ignoring the Texas Rangers like an ex in your contacts, you can appreciate the subtle quality of seeing a prospect develop from raw talent to polished Major Leaguer.
Take Rougned Odor, for example. Instead of commiserating on a throwing error, appreciate the range he showed to get to the ball or the flip to Elvis to turn-two or the cannon – wait, rocket – for an arm he flashes on a daily basis.
What about Jim Adduci. Instead of trying to remember who that is, appreciate his ability to make consistent contact, root for him as a 10-year Minor League veteran finally getting a shot, or try to figure out why he reminds you of David Murphy.
Best of all, appreciate the opportunity to watch Yu Darvish spin 7 different kinds of smoke out of that golden arm, each pitch more beautiful than the last. Who knows, maybe Yu won’t be in Texas forever (gasp), so revel in the glory of having the best pitcher this side of Kershaw on your team.
So sit back, relax, stop throwing remotes, stop deluding yourself into the playoff hunt, and appreciate the fact that you get Rangers baseball on your television for two more months.
Winter is coming, you know. Winter is coming.