Ode To The Fan
Was Mitch Moreland your favorite player? It’s also okay if you answered yes to this one. Moreland has been criticized by numerous people throughout his time in the majors. He had to show what he could do this year. He came out swinging during the first two months of the season. He defied expectations. It was a small sample size, though, and he ended up coming back from an injury being the Mitch Moreland sabermatricians expected him to be. You still rooted for the guy you’ve seen hit bombs to the right field upper deck. You knew that he had it in him, and you wanted him to do that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with believing in him.
Was Yu Darvish your favorite player? He should be. Darvish lead the Majors in strikeouts with 277. He was dominate in most of his games, yet he still managed to garner some criticism from the media. Darvish rarely received the run support he needed to record a win, yet managed to keep his opponents to a .193 average against him. He recorded an 11.89 K/9 during the 2013 season. He was amazing pitcher to watch, and an easy guy to root for. You should believe in him for years to come.
No matter who your favorite player was, you invested in the 2013 Texas Rangers. You went to games. You read SDI articles. You listened to criticism day in and day out, and still chose to root for this team. It is my job to detach from emotion and deliver the facts of the game. My collegues and I are the ones who have to tell you that David Murphy is not the best option against a left-handed pitcher, or during the 2013 season, any pitcher. It is your job to believe in a team. It is your job to understand that even though Mitch Moreland didn’t get on base as many times as I would have liked, he still hit 23 homeruns, and maybe this at-bat will be his 24th. Don’t lose that faith, Rangers fans. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are doing it wrong, because being a fan is a special thing. Being a fan means showing up even when they’ve lost eight straight games, because you know they’ll win the ninth. Being a fan means you love it. And when you love it, they love you. Your passion is what has allowed this team to continue to get better.
Keep on cheering, Rangers fans.