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.
Last night on Facebook I was whining about how I hate this time of the year. All the fake and compelled niceness, the Xmas Gift-Giving “Tax” inherent with marriage, blowhard Christians getting their panties in a wad about the perfectly valid abbreviation of Xmas (look it up you knowledge-averse idjits, you might learn something), and the frantic shopping mob street traffic that forces me to avoid Hulen Street in Foat Wuth from Black Friday to Xmas Day, virtually cutting off part of civilization from me in December. Most of all though, I loathe the fact that my regular TV watching schedule is in disarray until mid-to-late January because of this contrived, smarmy-a$s holiday. No new episodes of House, Big Bang Theory, Sons of Anarchy…just reruns and idiotic Xmas specials. Blech.
Mr. Lung over at RSBS suggested I relieve my TV doldrums by tuning into MLB Network to (presumably) enjoy this year’s “Hot Stove” festivities. I certainly appreciated the suggestion, but I had to remind him that my fandom resides here in the Land of Misfit Toys, a.k.a. Arlington, TX and the Texas Rangers. The “Hot Stove” here in Arlington is like watching Harry Potter and his spoiled cousin Dudley open presents at Christmas: Dudley always get the shiny red firetruck with the 1.93 ERA while Harry gets some worn out Sox and a frayed, one-eyed Teddy Bear with shoulder problems.
This year is no different. The same old preamble that always seems to accompany any Rangers acquisition is once again ringing through the halls of Rangerdom: “If [insert misfit toy here] can get/stay healthy, then…”. This year’s misfit toy acquisitions are Rich Harden and tentatively, Mike Lowell. If Harden can get/stay healthy, then he will most defiinitely be an upgrade over Kevin Millwood as our numero uno starter. If Mike Lowell’s thumb and hip are ok, then he’ll be that right-handed bat we so desperately need to bolster Josh Hamilton, assuming of course, Hamilton is able to get/stay healthy.
However, and, hopefully, the Ranger’s Gimp Express is on it’s final run and help is on the way in the form of prospective new owner Chuck Greenberg. He’s supposed to be a real “baseball guy” with (again, hopefully) deep pockets. The Greenberg ownership group also includes Nolan Ryan, who will stay on as President and keep the club moving in the right direction.
If this ownership change happens soon enough, perhaps we’ll be unwrapping shiny red firetrucks here in Arlington by opening day. If not, I’ll just kick the sh!t out of Harry Potter, steal his wand, and belt out a Redbirdus-Extractus spell, instantly swiping Pujols, Yadi, Carpenter, and Wainwright from Mr. Lung’s beloved Cardinals.