Over the years as a Texas Rangers fan you could get used to three things; 1.) Big swinging bats that when the hit they hit with power but the titanic strikeouts that went with them, 2.) Pitching that just never was enough, and 3.) Long streaks where it seemed everything just feel apart. Over the last two seasons when the dream of Jon Daniels was matching with the will of Nolan Ryan and the ability on the field this has all changed. Ironically this brings out things that I never thought I would see as a Ranger fan, mostly being first in the West and complaining about losing two series.
Yes losing sucks, but it is part of the game. The Rangers schedule is for 162 games in 2012. For April and the first few days of May the Rangers are 17-8 through roughly 15 percent of the season. If the Rangers continue on this pace they will win over 100 games in just the regular season. If as fans of the Rangers, or any team for that matter, you cannot be happy with 100 regular season wins then I am not sure what to tell you.
I base a lot of my feelings towards wins and losses in baseball after one of the greatest quotes from one of baseball’s most memorable quotes, Mr. Tommy Lasorda.
"No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference."
Correct me if I a wrong but a 162 game season mean that a third of that is 54 games. If the Rangers can win almost two thirds of their games then I am just pleased as punch. Maybe you should be too.
Baseball is not perfection. When hitting .300 is considered good and hitting .400 is thought to be impossible anymore, why is losing still so hard to accept?
The product that is on the field now as pieced together by JD and Nolan is phenomenal. It is a masterpiece that on most clubs wouldn’t have been put together. Take the position players for example. There are 13 position players on the 25 man roster. 3 were drafted by the Rangers, 6 were acquired via trade, 1 was purchased and 3 came on via free agency. This is clearly the team that the front office wants.
Could it be better? Maybe, but then you have to have a payroll like the New York Yankees that is going to be there year after year and results must be high. The Rangers are using a huge amount of payroll and they are supporting it by having the number 1 amount of fans in the stands in all of the American League. But if they fail, if they stop winning then the payroll usage will inevitably dry up.
Mitch Moreland takes a lot of heat from fans. No he isn’t a household name and he isn’t like a 2012 All-Star. But he is a steal at $491,100 this year. But through 14 games at first he hasn’t made a single error. He isn’t a huge offensive threat but he is hitting .228/.302/.421 with 3 homeruns. He also forced pitches to throw him a great deal of pitches. The moment he can use his patience at the plate and his power he will break out, which may be exactly what JD and Nolan see in him.
Brandon Snyder is also getting kicked around. The 25 year old was put on the 25 man roster not to be an everyday player, but to be a utility player. The front office thought so much of Snyder as to purchase him from the Orioles. He has played first base, left field and designated hitter. He hasn’t committed an error and he has hit in every opportunity he has been given. His offensive line of .357/.438/.643 is about the best you can ask for anyone off the bench. He is blowing away his career numbers and yet there was talk by some writers of moving him to the minors.
Alberto Gonzales another utility infielder has played all the positions that he is comfortable at second, shortstop and third and has done so far very well. He has a .333/.333/.381 offensive line. Against how much more can you expect off of the bench?
JD and Nolan have perhaps been too successful at putting a great product on the field. When the fan base starts looking at having stars on the bench then perhaps Ranger nation has been able to put its past behind it and look at itself as a yearly contender.
But just a word of caution friends, enjoy the wins they are great, but don’t jump off a building if the Rangers have a slow stretch.
"A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings. ~Earl Wilson"