Sep 30, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (33) reacts after giving up a home run to Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (not pictured) during the third inning at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
After watching two NFL Playoff games in which two cold weather teams lost at home to two warm weather teams, it got me thinking about home field advantage in baseball and if the Texas Rangers have it at the Ballpark at Arlington. There is no doubt in my mind that the term Texas heat is a real thing. I have lived in Texas for most of my life, and I have truly experienced the Texas heat for myself. But does it actually give the Rangers an advantage over other teams?
I would speculate that is does. My reasoning is simple, not because all of the players are native Texans who are used to the heat and know how to handle it, but because they have a staff that knows how to prepare players to play in the extreme heat. There is a reason that the Texas Rangers have had a good home record over the past few seasons (46 and 36 at home in 2013, 49-30 in 2012). It’s not about enjoying the heat, it is about embracing it and learning how to use it to your advantage, as I believe that the Texas Rangers do. It is about taking indoor batting practice on the really hot days, and it is about always being ready for the extreme heat. It is not something I would want to play in everyday to be completely honest with you.
So even though there are lots of native Texans playing for other team in Major League Baseball, they do not have the day-to-day exposure to it that the current Texas Rangers players do, they don’t have the staff around them helping them prepare for it, and they don’t have the stamina to play in it day in and day out, and that is why I believe that Rangers ballpark will continue to be an advantage for the team. Bring on the summer heat!