Are the Texas Rangers Championship Caliber?
By Ben Dieter
Sep 30, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Members of the Texas Rangers look out from the dugout in the 9th inning of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Last night in the Super Bowl we saw a team that was ready for the bright lights of the big game and a team that was not at all ready for the spotlight, and it was very obvious from the very first snap of the game until the Seahawks lifted the trophy in victory. So my question after that game to myself was what does it take to have a championship caliber team and how close/far off are the Texas Rangers from being that kind of team? They had it in 2011 in my opinion, and should have been champions, but lets not rehash that old wound.
If we look at last nights performance by the Super Bowl Champions we will notice that it was not all talent and skill that led the winning team to come home with the trophy, there was also a good bit of luck and bad decisions on the part of the losing team. When the Texas Rangers were going through the 2010 season on the way to the franchise’s first ever World Series appearance, they were playing great baseball down the stretch as well having some lucky breaks happen for them. Think back, I can remember a sweep of the New York Yankees at the Texas Rangers ballpark at Arlington that included a future hall of fame closer in Mariano Rivera hitting Jeff Francoeur for a hit by pitch walk off win. That doesn’t ever happen to the great Mo. I can also remember many late inning heroics by a Texas Rangers team that was not expected to go nearly as far as they did.
In 2011 the Texas Rangers were one of the favorites to win it all, and the fact that their rotation stayed healthy almost the entire season is something that almost never happens for any major league team as well. But that was one of the main reasons that the Texas Rangers blew through the season and made it to the World Series as the favorites to win it all. They had built the talent to win, but it took luck for them to actually make it to the big dance as the favorites. And it took luck for the Cardinals to win that series after looking like they had lost it due to some questionable decisions by their manager during the series.
The past two season the Texas Rangers have not been so lucky, losing most of that World Series team to free agency or injury and not being able to remain healthy at all in the pitching staff. But during this off-season the Texas Rangers added some much-needed power to the line-up and they have also added a great on base guy to the top of the batting order. Now all they need is a little of lady luck during the 2014 season to get back to where they need to be as a franchise. I am not saying that luck is everything when it comes to winning, we all know Seattle had the best defense in the NFL this season because of talent and not luck, but the fact that the Broncos had so many mis-cues and couldn’t do anything at all offensively had some to do with luck. And if the Texas Rangers are going to get back to a World Series, it will take all of the talent they have as well as a fair share of luck. Only time will tell if in 2014, the Texas Rangers will have luck on their side or not. I am really hoping that they do.