Texas Rangers 25 for 25: No need for a holiday hangover
By David Cash
Here’s my day 2 of the 25 Texas Rangers days till Christmas. Today’s featured player is shortstop Elvis Andrus. I titled this article ‘No need for a holiday hangover’ because of what happened in Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Before I get to game 5 I would like to first focus on the 2015 season. In my opinion Elvis Andrus improved a lot during the 2015 season. Many questioned what was going on with him, was he trying, was he still a top rated shortstop, and was he worth the huge contract extension he received a few years ago. In case you don’t remember he signed a 8 year contract worth $118 million which earns him about $15 million a season. By the way this was the first season he started making the big bucks. During the 2014 season he only made $6.5 million. Which was also the first year he didn’t play any winter ball prior to Spring Training. Which isn’t totally uncommon for players who have several years in the majors.
Looking back to the 2014 season he had a horrible defensive year posting a -0.4 defensive WAR. He did have a good batting line at .263/.314/.333/.647 with 35 doubles, 2 home runs, and 41 RBI.
On a negative note he was caught stealing a career worst 15 times. I remember watching him get picked off of first base several times.
Like several other Rangers 2015 was his bounce back season. He still had a few bad moments during the season, but I think he returned more focused and ready to play. He some how found some power in his swing this season and seemed to have a bit more pop in his step playing shortstop. Maybe it’s because he had more playing time with second base Rougned Odor. I’m sure there was some adjustment after his buddy Ian Kinsler was traded to the Detroit Tigers. He’s defensive WAR was a 0.9 compared to a subpar -0.4 during the 2014 season. During the 2015 season he posted a .258/.309/.357/.667 batting line with 34 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 62 RBI. That mark of 7 home runs was a career best since his 6 during his rookie year in 2009. His base running, stealing and overall focus was better. He was even able to have a remarkable steal of home because he was doing an excellent job of reading the pitcher.
Watch: 09/01/15 – Relive the moment Elvis Andrus stole home against Kevin Quackenbush
Now on to game 5, which everyone wishes to forget. And that’s what I recommend. Forget and forgive Elvis for those bone headed plays against the Blue Jays. Yes he should have made those to plays and probably the throw from Mitch Moreland that resulted in 3 errors in a single inning and ultimately caused the Texas Rangers to lose the game.
Next: Texas Rangers 25 for 25: Who's on First?
But, in my opinion, that was a unique situation where the fans managed to change the outcome of a game. The fans were loud, rude, and outright dangerous. With all of the littering on the field, disruptions, timeouts, and anxiety the outcome was going to be bad. And that’s when people look for escape goats and Andrus just happened to be it. Well, not for me…yes at the moment I was upset and probably said things I shouldn’t have. Just like all of other fans who were riding on a lot of emotions at the moment. Elvis is a big league player with a lot of talent, but like everyone else he’s human and is subject to making mistakes. I’m over it and everyone else should be too. We shouldn’t let game 5 get to us, be mad at him, or hangover until next season. I for one will be there cheering him on next season ready to see some more amazing catches, throws, and swings of his bat. He’s still a great ball player and will be for the years to come.