Rangers Are Just Fine, Thanks For Asking
I had a conversation about a month ago with a good friend and fellow blogger about the Rangers flaky press coverage and panic riddled fan base.
She was flabbergasted and simply said "I've never heard such whining over a good team."
I agreed but didn't think much more about it until I read yet another gross overreaction to dropping four straight games.
Enough is enough and I'm talking to the credentialed press following the Rangers as well as my fellow Rangers bloggers and fans.
Now, I'm not going to embarrass them by using their names, but some reporters and a specific blogger have crossed the line the past few weeks offering opinions so ridiculous they should be laughed out of the ballpark.
Let's begin with a prominent Rangers blogger who has spent this entire season on a mind-boggling campaign against the face of the franchise, Michael Young.
This blogger leads a group of stat geeks who apparently judge a player's performance by reading the box scores the next day instead of watching the games with their own eyes.
I have been in quite a few friendly arguments with him and his fans and each time I've found myself taking half a bottle of Advil due to being bombarded with more stats than anyone should ever pay attention to.
Michael Young may not be the best fielder in baseball, but to suggest he be moved to designated hitter at least two years early is a remarkably stupid idea and would only be offered by someone who has no clue what they're talking about.
Young has been a consistent defensive player his entire career and has more than enough range to play third base, especially with Elvis Andrus' ability to cover the hole at deep shortstop.
Even if this weren't the case, what would this blogger like the Rangers to do about it?
Promote Chris Davis and split DH time between Young and Vladimir Guerrero?
Stupid. Moronic. Irresponsible to feed this garbage to an already irrational fan base.
Another Rangers writer has publicly stated the Rangers are being held back by the manager and didn't waste any time attacking Ron Washington for a disputed call overturning what should have been a home run for Josh Hamilton.
This reporter's issue with Washington has been in game management and on this particular day he wondered why Washington didn't ask for a replay of the disputed home run.
There's one small problem with this reporter's argument that could have been avoided with a quick glance at the rule book. A manager is allowed to request a replay, but he cannot demand one and has no rights beyond requesting the replay.
If the crew chief deems the call certain without needing replay then the umpires will not stop the game to take a look.
Washington told the umpires he thought it was a home run; they got together and determined it had not cleared the fence and didn't stop the game to look at the replay.
That is the crew chief's call and there was nothing Washington could have done, yet this reporter attacked Washington the next day over something that was not his fault.
I will be the first to admit that Washington does things during a game that are confusing and at times frustrating, but the players play hard for him and the team is in contention for a playoff spot for the second year in a row.
That's all that matters to me and it should be all that matters to everyone else, but this is the Rangers we're talking about here.
The final straw prompting me to write this article was posted a couple of days ago on ESPNDallas.com.
This writer and DFW sportstalk host actually suggested the Rangers, who at the time were one game out of first place, start selling their veterans beginning with Guerrero because the team hasn't played well against winning teams.
I don't have any official stats on this one but I find it highly unlikely any team with a winning record and that close to first place has ever gone into sell mode in early June.
Equally as moronic about this article is the impression the Rangers will slip out of contention before the deadline.
Has this writer watched the rest of the AL West so far this season?
The Angels have trouble in the bullpen, the back end of their rotation and now have lost one of their best hitters for the next three months.
Rangers fans should recognize what the A's are doing so far this season because it's exactly what the Rangers did last year. Eventually all pitching and no hitting will cause slumps.
The notion that either one of these teams are going to run away with the division in the next month and a half prompting the Rangers to become sellers is just plain dumb.
This all brings me back to my blogger friend telling me she's never heard such whining from fans of a winning team.
Sure, the Rangers need a catcher and Rich Harden needs to be replaced if Tommy Hunter pitches well while Derek Holland is on the DL, but other than that the team is playing just fine.
Guerrero is on fire, Nelson Cruz has been even better than anticipated when healthy and Elvis Andrus leads all of baseball hitting with runners in scoring position.
They've been as high as six games over .500 and are currently tied with the light hitting A's for first place in the AL West.
With 34 of the next 37 games against teams with records below .500, the Rangers need to be focused on only one thing, the game that day.
The writers that follow this team should do the same; apparently they aren't cut out for big picture thinking.