The Texas Rangers are in the middle of a long rebuild by Jon Daniels. It’s important that Rangers fans have some patience with the process.
Texas Rangers fans are in a place they’ve never been before. That’s hard to believe for a franchise that’s been in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for almost fifty years, but it’s true. The fact is, the Rangers never had much success, not until 2010. There were the playoff runs of the nineties, if you could call them that. When you only win one playoff game in the history of your franchise, it doesn’t get people in the area very excited about baseball.
What I mean by all this is most Rangers fans don’t have a lot of experience with the ups and downs of running a MLB franchise. It’s all new to us. So we don’t really know what the process of building up a competitive baseball team looks like. The World Series run of 2010 came out of nowhere. Suddenly the lowly Texas Rangers were one of the best teams in baseball for the next three years. I was a big Rangers fan and I’ll admit it crept up on me. The Rangers didn’t slowly improve over the course of a couple of years. They went from a mediocre team to back-to-back pennant winners.
Rangers fans have never seen a rebuild. It happened, of course, but we weren’t watching. Jon Daniels was able to construct his World Series teams in the dark because we weren’t paying attention. It’s different now. We’ve got a spotlight on every move Daniels makes.
Building a championship baseball team is hard. Much harder than in the NBA or the NFL. Players take longer to develop, and the season is so long. One player can’t affect the game the way they can in
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others sports. Timing is key; you can’t sign too many veterans before your young players are ready to contribute.
Daniels sensed a window open in 2010. For the next few years, he went for it, putting all his resources into winning the World Series. That window stretched a little longer than any of us thought when the Rangers made playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016. That extended run pushed the franchise further into a talent drought. Prospects were traded for veterans, and some veterans got older and couldn’t produce anymore. But when you’re close, when you think you can win a ring, you sell out for a chance to hold that trophy in late October.
Rangers fans need to have patience. Another wave of talent is coming. The Rangers’ ownership group has always shown a willingness to spend. Daniels has shown he can build a winning team. He deserves this chance at a rebuild. If it doesn’t work, perhaps it will be time to move on.
Baseball is a game that will test your patience. The season is long, twice as long as any other sport. The games are long and sometimes slow. It’s “a game with a lot of waiting in it,” to quote John Irving. But the payoff is big. And if we Rangers fans can wait just a little longer, we’ll open up a new ballpark with a Texas team that has a bright future.