By Eric Reining
I’m at a loss for baseball right now.
From June 4-16th (@BOS, @TOR, vs. CLE, vs. TOR), the Rangers went 3-10. From June 17-30th (vs. OAK, @STL, @NYY, vs. CIN), the Rangers went 10-3. After starting the month with 4 wins and 11 losses, the team managed to finish an even 14-14.
Since then, against the two AL West bottom-dwellers — Seattle & Houston — Texas has gone just 2-3, and remain a half-game behind Oakland (who also lost on Saturday) for the division lead.
What I think can’t be substantiated by any sort of data — so consume it at your own accord — but to me this looks like a classic example of a club whom, as the pundits would say, “plays up to the level of its competition.” If the Rangers are good enough to win 4 consecutive series’ against 4 of the better teams in baseball, it’s implied that it was no accident.
Does this team need some players to come off the shelf, and soon? Sure. But should we be going into some sort of panic-mode cocoon just because some idiots are writing that Yu Darvish is broken, that Lance Berkman isn’t worth a damn (he’s apparently injured, by the way), and that Jon Daniels needs to make like 47 trades to save matters? Uhm, my nose is running for some reason and I need to go in soon to re-up on another can of Coke.
This is not a Nolan Ryansite; this is a Texas Rangers’ site. And I am not a writer; I dropped out of college when I was 19. I’m just an observer. In 2013 half of my obsession is how the fan base behaves; the other half is on a baseball team that’s probably played over its head to achieve a 50-37 record through 87 games. But nobody wants the truth anymore. It’s faint, fleeting, and most importantly: boring. The perception of the truth is what matters, and this gestalt menagerie of Rangers’ personalities lead us to believe something is wrong all the time.
Do the Rangers have problems? Of course they have problems. Every team has something they’d like to fix. The key is that the team is in a position where the “fix” is actually relevant. Even despite the terrible health, the front office is in a position to acquire assets — as well as some payroll — to improve its odds of making and, hopefully, advancing in the 2013 postseason. Will that include a Jurickson Profar trade? Just, no, he’s not going anywhere.
At the heart of everything I’m either distracted by my personal life or just annoyed at so much of the negative coverage enveloping my favorite baseball team. Either way, baseball isn’t fun right now. Baseball is supposed to be a sanctuary, a place of refuge, not a lightning rod to channel negativity through.