1. Brutal second-half schedule.
Starting with four at Boston, then a trip to that Rangers Hell known as Tigers Ballpark (I know, it’s known as something else, but I refuse to use dooshy corporate ballpark names). Still have 14 games with Los Anaheim, as well as another series with Boston and the Yanks, not to mention road trips to Toronto, Tampa, Minnesooota, and I never thought I’d be weary of this one – a four game road trip to Baltimore. Oh, and 43 of the remaining 74 games are on the road.
2. Questionable pitching.
Even with the addition of His Leeness, this starting rotation is questionable at best. Feldman just flat-out sucks, C.J. is meh, the jury is still out on Colby Lewis, as it is on Tommy Hunter. The bullpen is warn out, though the Alexi Ogando call up and the acquisition of the inning-devouring Cliff Lee might ease the stress there. Who the hell knows what we’ll get from Rich Harden when he returns, and I have a hunch that Derek Holland is done for the year.
3. Molina? Really?
I don’t know what the hell J.D. was thinking with this trade. I thought the Treanor/Max Ramirez platoon behind the plate was working just fine. It is downright painful to watch Molina labor around the base pads… this coming from a fat guy (me) who is getting really sick of the de-humanization of fat people in today’s society. I might have been ok with JUST giving up Chris Ray for Molina, but wasting a good prospect like Michael Main? This reeks of farm system mistakes from front offices past. I’m told I’m wrong about this from baseball acquaintances seemingly more baseball sageier than I. I hope they are right, cuz it looks to me like we just gave away a good prospect for a guy who looks like me running the bases.
I know I could probably itemize some more, but I’m already getting bored with this post. It boils down to this: until this team makes it to, AT A MINIMUM, the ALCS, and AT LEAST puts up a hard-fought, go-to-seven-games fight, I will forever be a pessimist in the land of Rangerdom.
And please, don’t tell me to “just have faith”, “faith” is for…well, don’t get me started on that.
It seems like just yesterday, I was pinching myself because the #2 Most Beloved Ranger of the Past®, one Ivan “Pudge” Rodriquez, rejoined the Texas Rangers for a 2009 *cough* playoff run AND to finish his HoF career in a Rangers uni. I was a happy man. I thought it was idiotic to let him leave the first time, but then, “idiotic” has never stopped the Ranger front office from making idiotic moves.
Once again, I’m disappointed and bummed. I thought he was truly sincere about finishing up in Arlington, but alas, the mighty dollar wins again. I suppose I can’t blame him…he’s near the end of his career, already has a ring, and just wants to pad the ol’ retirement fund.
Still, it would have been a heartstring-tugging gesture to the long-suffering fans if he’d chosen to stay . I want to be mad at someone…Pudge for leaving, Jon Daniels for not re-signing him, George W. Bush just because it’s fun to blame everything on him (or even better, his puppet-master Cheney).
But I suppose I just need to suck it up and hope whoever buys this pathetic, woe-is-me excuse of a baseball team will be someone interested in putting a winner on the diamond, instead of this heart-breaking mess we’ve had for a decade.
I’m probably jinxing muh boys here, but I can’t think of anything else to write about since my Clever Blog Muse seems to have taken a vacation….good thing I don’t believe in superstition.
Anyway, *puts on prophet hat* here’s the different playoff scenarios I see for the boys in blue (Note: I’m assuming that New Mordor takes the AL East in all of these scenarios…I just don’t think my #2 Red Sox can catch ’em):
1. Best Case Scenario – Rangers Win AL West, Angels Win Wildcard
I’m also assuming here that the Yanks have the best record in the AL. This is a good scenario for the Rangers because it would pit the Angels against the Yanks in the ALDS, and the Angels seem to own the Yanks. Plus, historically, the Rangers don’t seem to fare well against the Ogres from Mordor, especially in the ALDS (see 1996, 1998, 1999).
Assuming we make it past the AL Central champ in the ALDS(I’d rather face the ChiSox than Detroit), this would pit us against Los Anaheim in the ALCS…and surprisingly, we seem to own the Angels this year.
Unfortunately, I just don’t see this scenario playing out, because while the Rangers seem to do well against the Angels, there hasn’t been much consistent winning against anyone else, so only a sweep of the remaining seven against Los Anaheim would get this done…and the Angels seem to take at least one from us in each series this season.
Odds of this scenario happening: very slim.
2. Next Best Scenario – Angels Win AL West(with best AL record), Rangers Win Wildcard
This scenario would at least give the Rangers a shot at appearing in their first ever ALCS, assuming they continue to semi-own the Los Anaheim….and we could proudly go edit the Texas Rangers Wikipedia entry that accurately says “The Texas Rangers are the most unsuccessful team in MLB” (by virtue of the fact that they are the only team to never reach a league championship game). Unfortunately, if the Rangers made it past Los Anaheim, they’d likely face New Mordor in the ALCS, and as history shows(1996, 1998, 1999), things don’t go well for the Rangers against the Yanks in the playoffs.
Odds of this scenerio happening: Possible. Los Anaheim isn’t that far behind the Yanks in the W/L department, and still have a 3 game series with them in September…in Anaheim…AND as I said earlier, LA seems to own the Yanks this year.
3. The Late Nineties Scenario – Rangers Win Wildcard, Face Yanks in ALDS
Pretty much the same as above, but the Yanks have the best AL record and subsequently boot us in the ALDS instead of the ALCS. On the bright side, the Rangers could at least say they made the playoffs in a year no one expected they would.
Odds of this scenario happening: Pretty darn good. If the Rangers will get just a little more consistent, this is the likely playoff scenario that will occur. Sure, we’ll lose yet another ALDS to New Mordor, but I wasn’t expecting anything resembling a playoff game at Rangers Ballpark this year.
4. The “Until they prove otherwise”, Pessimistic Fan Scenario – Rangers Tank
If you look at the last half of this decade(and the majority of seasons in the life of the franchise), this is what most of us in Rangers (Stag)Nation would tell you is likely to happen. Heck, I’ve been “waiting for the shoe to drop” since the All Star Break. But one non-transaction gives me hope for this season and beyond: Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels did NOT make a deal for Roy Halladay and trade away our future. They are sticking to their three-year plan, and home-growing us a championship team via our badd-a$s farm system.
If this scenario does play out, then I at least hope my #2 Boston Red Sox get in…they are the only reason I’ve had someone to root for in October this decade.
Odds of this scenario happening – Very likely…until proven otherwise.
Side note: Last night at the bowling alley, some 18 yr oldish kid in the lane next to me got absolutely livid over my Rangers pessimism when I suggested that the Rangers couldn’t take the Yanks in the playoffs. Ah, the joy of youthful optimism, oh how I miss it.
I’m supposed to be giddy, right? Wrong. I am completely without gid. Why, you ask? Simple, really. Ron Darling, Sammy Sosa, (insert numerous other former Ranger prospects-turned-superstars). How many great prospects have the Rangers given up in the name of “win now”? And has the “win now” philosophy ever paid off in the 37 year history of the Texas Rangers? Absolutely NOT.
Patience, as they say, is a virtue. I hope Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels understand this tidbit of wisdom and do not make the mistakes of Front Offices past by hemorrhaging prospects for one guy.
If the Rangers aren’t ready now, fine. By 2010 they will be…with the home-grown superstars from our kick-a$s farm system.
Mortgaging away the Rangers future on Roy Halladay would be yet another stupid move in a history of stupid moves.
Argh, I say, argh.
p.s. Anyone else notice that Halladay looks an awful lot like Chris Martin of Coldplay?