3 Reasons Why Rangers Fans Should Be Thankful
This holiday season as we gather with friends and family we give thanks to what we are all truly thankful for, baseball.
While it is easy to complain about how the Rangers failed to make the postseason this year or that your favorite player may have just been traded, lets us not forget about some things that we should be thankful for. Things such as:
1. Recent Success
The Texas Rangers are not among the list of baseball’s most storied franchise, actually far from it, however we can be thankful for the recent success the club has endured. Since the team began playing in Arlington in 1972, the club has a franchise record of 3287-3381 and are 94 wins under .500. Of the 41 seasons played in Texas, the Rangers have managed to finish 1st or 2nd in their division only 16 times. Only in the last 4 years have the Rangers won their only two A.L. pennants and advanced to play in the World Series. Although the sting still exists from the memories of the 2011 World Series where the club was just a strike away from winning, the sting doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as when we look back to our excitement of the 2008 and 2009 seasons after Texas put together back to back 2nd place finishes in the A.L. West.
2. Yu Darvish
Since coming over from Japan a few seasons ago, to say Darvish has lived up to expectations would be an understatement. For the last two seasons, Darvish has baffled the planet’s best hitters and this year he finished 2nd in the Cy Young race. Every five days when Darvish takes the mound it instantly becomes “must watch TV” because every outing you may see him dominate in different ways than ever before. After a few close calls it feels as if it is only a matter of time before he will be able piece together no-hitter or perfect game. Last season Darvish fanned 277 hitters for an eye popping 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. For comparison, teammate Derek Holland was second on the team in strikeouts with 189 (8.0 SO/9). Just watch this video and salivate.
3. Jon Daniels
The Texas Rangers fan base seems to be split on their feelings with General Manager Jon Daniels. While some praise the young exec for rebuilding the franchise’s minor league system and credit him for team’s sustained success, others despise Daniels for letting franchise players walk away. Leading the “Fire Jon Daniels” bandwagon is a recently retired sports columnist who blames the team’s ownership in trusting Daniels with final baseball decisions rather than giving the power to Nolan Ryan. This is not to say that Daniels is perfect, in fact he has made a few transactions that I am sure he would like to have back, but what GM hasn’t? You have to admire a guy that will let franchise player after franchise player leave (see Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler) because he is confident in the team’s future and is always thinking about what is best for the franchise long term rather than selling out in a “win now” mode.
It is very easy for fans to get caught up in the short comings of the ball club the two years but try not to let the club’s recent success sour the experience of watching winning baseball. Instead savor the victories and quickly forget the losses because in sports the window of opportunity opens and closes on franchises in a very short time. Isn’t that right Houston Astros?
As a fan, what are some things that you are thankful for about the Rangers?